BGMEA seeks ‘apparel ministry’

RMG workers

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) sought a separate ‘apparel ministry’ for coordination and effective representation of the multi-billion dollar Readymade Garments (RMG) industry.

“We need a separate apparel ministry for effective representation of the gigantic industry. We’ll give a proposal to the government to that end shortly,” M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of BGMEA, told BSS on Friday.

Mohiuddin said sometimes the garments makers pursue ministry of commerce and sometimes labour whenever face problems as they don’t know which particular ministry is responsible for looking after the sector’s issues.

“Sometimes minister even the Prime Minister take responsibility from their kindness whenever we face any problem in RMG industry.we need one stop service for the country’s biggest RMG industry,” he said.

The BGMEA chief added: “If you just compare the contribution of apparel industry with ministry of textile and jute you will see what bigger contribution the apparel industry puts.”

Echoing Mohiuddin, M Atiqul Islam, coordinator of the association’s Crash Programme on Fire Safety, said time has come to coordinate with each other agencies linked to the apparel industry.

He looked back to the Tazreen factory fire incident saying that the industry lacks coordination as the worst-ever devastative fire incident could have not been occurred if coordination was there.

He said the apparel industry seriously lacks coordination as relevant ministries remain busy with their own works and they don’t have enough time to look into the issues of garment industry.

Introduction of an apparel ministry has become indispensable for the sector’s various reasons including unified code of conduct, protection of buyers and labours federation, customs, port and infrastructure problems, he said.

On fire safety at garments factories, Atiqul Islam said BGMEA has launched a training programme to impart training to mid-level employees — technician, security guard, assistant production manager and line chief — of a factory.

“We’ve divided garments regions in Dhaka and outskirts Ashulia, Gazipur and Narayanganj and Savar into 10 parts. Specialized fire experts from fire department will give them technical knowledge on fire origination, prevention and fire drilling,” he said.

“Each factory will give report to the association every month whether they drilled factory efficiently,” he said adding “after receiving the training on fire safety, mid-level employees will be considered as fire fighters and they will drill their respective factories on their own.”

The BGMEA leader came down heavily on a section of factory owners who are not drilling their factories saying that thousands of workers of a factory can come out of it within three to four minutes after any fire incident if drilling is done in true sense.

Source: The Daily Star


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