The government has taken a move to expedite the remediation of the readymade garment factories inspected under the national initiative with the aim of removing all the safety faults in the units by June next year.
Under the move, the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments started to hold meetings with the factory owners to get information about the problems they are facing in completing remediation.
In the first phase, the DIFE held meetings with owners of the RMG factories located in Chittagong on Sunday and Monday and the two parties signed agreement over timeframe for completion of remediation and relocation of the factories.
At the meetings factory owners said that they were facing challenges in remediation and relocation of their units due to lack of funding, sources said.
‘We held meetings with the owners who are running their factories in shared or rented buildings and asked them to submit timeframe for completion of corrective action plan at their units. In some cases, we asked factory owners to submit timeframe for relocating their production units as some of the building owners refused to fix safety hazard at their buildings,’ DIFE inspector general Md Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan told New Age on Monday.
He said that the second round of meetings that would be held with owners of apparel factories located in Gazipur, Narayanganj and Dhaka would start from Wednesday and the talks on remediation would end by August 20.
Shamsuzzaman said that the DIFE had taken the move to complete remediation in the factories which were inspected under the nation initiative, a joint initiative of the Bangladesh government and the International Labour Organisation.
‘Every single RMG factory inspected under the national initiative would have to complete remediation within June, 2018, otherwise they have to face closer,’ the DIFE inspector general said.
He said there were 104 RMG factories in Chittagong, which are housed in rented or shared buildings and 50 per cent of them submitted timeframe for completing remediation.
Owners of the rest of the factories promised to relocate their units to safe places, Shamsuzzaman said.
A labour ministry source said that after completing the talks with the factory owners a time-bound remediation strategy would be formulated as per the promise made by the government to the international bodies.
According to the DIFE statistics, 1,549 garment factories, which remained outside the purview of the inspection conducted by two buyers’ groups Accord and Alliance, have been inspected under the national initiative.
Out of the 1,549 factories, 1,131 are housed in shared or rented buildings and 418 are housed in buildings owned by factory owners.
In a recent meeting, the labour ministry promised foreign diplomats that the country would formulate a time-bound remediation strategy for the garment factories inspected under the national initiative by August 31.
The ministry also assured the international stakeholders that the flaws found during the inspection in those factories would be fixed by June, 2018.
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