Labour law going for quick implementation in garment to regain GSP facility


The government failure to implementation of the labour law in the garment sector has been blamed by the US government for dropping the country from the list of GSP beneficiaries which Washington announced on July 29.
Though belated, the government realization has made sense. The government will now will finalise the rules for the law to implement the act in the industry to open discussion with the US government to restore the benefit.
THe sources said rules of the labour law will be finalized now in a week keeping in mind that a USTR team is scheduled to visit Bangladesh in September to review progress in workplace safety and labour rights, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said last week. .
A team from the commerce ministry will also visit the USA in the same month to highlight progress Bangladesh has made so far to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), he said.
The minister spoke after a meeting with the diplomats of the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark and officials of the Department for International Development and International Labour Organisation in Dhaka.
The United States suspended the generalised system of preferences (GSP) for Bangladesh in 2014 after the Rana Plaza collapse that killed scores of workers raising global concerns about workers safety in Bangladesh. The USA did not put Bangladesh on the renewed list of recipients of the trade benefits this year.
On the labour law issue, sources said the draft rules have been sent to the law ministry for vetting, the minister said. The formulation of the rules was the last condition of the 16-point Bangladesh Action Plan that the USTR asked to fulfil to regain GSP.
After the twin industrial disasters, the government amended the labour law on July 15, 2014, but did not formulate the rules to implement the law at the factory level. There is no reason for not reinstating the GSP for Bangladesh after the formulation of the rules, Ahmed said.
“We renewed our commitment to help Bangladesh and the garment sector,” US Ambassador in Bangladesh Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat after the meeting with the minister.
Bangladesh has made a tremendous progress in meeting the 16 conditions for regaining the GSP facility; but still some important issues are there, which need to be addressed to reinstate the GSP, Bernicat said.

Source: Weekly Holiday


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