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RMG owners propose Tk 2,000 as minimum wage
31
May '10
With a considerable increase in garment prices in the global market, apparel owners in Bangladesh are now set to fix the minimum wage of workers within the range of Tk 2,000 or nearly US $29 per month.

In a meeting of the Minimum Wage Board conducted last week, RMG owners proposed the minimum wage of Tk 1,887 or nearly $27 per month for entry level workers. Such workers in Vietnam obtain $90 and in India receive $135 as minimum wage per month.

Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, one of the BGMEA Vice-President and representative at the Minimum Wage Board said that, the industry would like to fix the minimum wage within Tk 2,000 per month. In the year 2006, minimum wage was fixed at Tk 1662.50 per month by a tripartite body, which included the government, BGMEA and workers' representatives.

But, the major buyers have recently escalated the rates of apparel goods, particularly of knitwear clothing, by around 30 percent. During the last fiscal, garment sector of the country contributed around $12.59 billion to the total exports worth $14 billion.

Buyers started offering better prices of apparel goods, after citing the critical situations faced by the local apparel producers. More so, buyers, who purchase RMG goods at a discounted rate and thereby, dominate the Bangladeshi market, have also raised the costs of RMG goods.

Moreover, RMG exports of the country, in the month of April, witnessed a hike as against exports of April 2009. During this month, knitwear apparel exports and the export of woven goods improved by 13.52 percent and 13 percent, respectively, as compared to the same period, last year.

BGMEA will discuss the matter of fixing a realistic minimum wage structure for its entry level workers, with the economists and lawmakers of the country, as well as with other concerned people, informed Mohiuddin. Garment sector of the country, comprises of around 2,300 units, which has a strong-workforce of around 3 million people, wherein majority are women workers.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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