Bangladesh budget for garment industry safety.
Dhaka, Bangladesh – Bangladesh’s finance minister pledged on Thursday, June 6, 2013 to improve safety in the garment industry after the tragedy incident that happen earlier this year. However, there is no sign or nothing that showing that there is new money cash flow that is coming in to help out with the factories in the garment industry.
By: John Thao
“In order to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future, we pledge to take all possible measures for improvement of working conditions and safety standards in factories in conjunction with all stakeholders,” Muhith told the parliament
Yet he had not mention where the money will go and help the garment industry, but pledge a 20 percent reduction in import duties on woven fabrics in high hope to bring a boost to the garment sector. Bangladesh’s Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith
The government and industrialists, along with the global brands that use their factories, have come under pressure to reform an industry that generates 80 percent of export earnings.
The April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza, a factory built on swampy ground outside Dhaka with several illegal floors, ranks amongst the world’s worst industrial accidents and has galvanized brands to look more closely at their suppliers.
Very low labor costs and, critics say, shortcuts on safety, makes the country of 160 million the cheapest place to make large quantities of clothing.
Companies are split over how to improve conditions. Big European names signed an accord that would make them legally responsible for safety. U.S. firms like Wal-Mart Stores Inc have broken ties with non-compliant factories.
Inspections of about 150 buildings housing garment factories since the disaster found many with serious faults, such as cracks and floors built without permits, said Mujibur Rahman, who leads a team of 30 civil engineers at the Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology.
Plans to move factories crammed along Dhaka’s teeming streets to an industrial park to the south have foundered as suitable land is scarce in low-lying and flood prone Bangladesh.
The garment industry has risen from almost nothing 30 years ago to become the second largest global supplier after China. Thousands of factories have sprung up in the past decade, overwhelming the capacity of a handful of inspectors.
Other initiatives to improve conditions include a rise in the monthly minimum wage for garment workers, now set at $38. A panel formed on Thursday is to set a new wage within months.
A revised labor law is also in the works to make it easier to form trade unions. Workers can now form a union only with permission of the factory owner.