Readymade garment making factories that run a risk of accident would be shut down immediately to avoid a repeat of the Rana Plaza like tragedies, Bangladesh’s Minister of Commerce Tofail Ahmed has said, reports UNB.
The Minister was talking to the media after a meeting of the Ministry of Commerce with representatives of the Ministry of Labour, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the two groupings of international brands and retailers—Accord and Alliance.
At the meeting, the stakeholders involved in the drive to ensure safety of buildings in the garment sector agreed that a factory found to be at risk during the ongoing inspection by ILO and Accord would be closed down, the Minister said.
Till now, inspection has been completed in about 1,000 factories, and 20 factories have been identified as risky, of which 14 have already been closed, he informed.
The owners of the apparel factories that were closed have been given six months time for renovation of building or relocation of the factory. During the six-month period, the wages to garment workers would be jointly paid by the owners and the Alliance, while Accord would give assistance for relocation of the factories.
Last month, Bangladesh’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Textiles and Jute Ministry recommended increased allocation to the sector in the next fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014, for the overall development of textile and jute sectors. The committee observed that the Tk 1.21 billion allocated for the textiles and jute sector in the 2013-14 annual development programme (ADP) was inadequate and recommended increasing the allocation in the next fiscal year.