The government has started issuing show-cause letter to the readymade garment factories which have made less than 30 per cent progress on remediation, seeking explanation why their production activities would not be suspended due to non-compliance.
Recently the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments listed 502 RMG factories, inspected under the national initiative, in which remediation progress is less than 30 per cent.
Of the 502 factories, remediation progress in 230 units is zero per cent meaning the companies are yet to start any remediation work while the progress in 272 factories is one to less than 30 per cent.
‘We have started issuing letters to the factories which have made less than 30 per cent progress on remediation, seeking explanation why their production activities would not be suspended,’ DIFE inspector general Md Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan told New Age on Tuesday.
It will take time to get response from the factory owners as the DIFE has just started sending letters, he said.
Following the Rana Plaza building collapse in April, 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people, a total of 3,780 garment factories were assessed under three initiatives, European retailers’ platform Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, North American buyers’ platform Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and the government-led and ILO-supported national initiative.
Of the 3,780 garment factories, 1,549 were inspected under the national initiative. Of the factories, 531 were closed down, 69 relocated and 193 units shifted to the Accord and Alliance lists.
Currently, the DIFE is monitoring remediation work in 745 factories through the remediation coordination cell formed in May last year.
After completing the initial inspections in September, 2015, the RMG factories listed under the national initiative made only 32 per cent of remediation progress in last two years and nine months, according to a press release issued by the RCC on Tuesday.
It also said that the DIFE held meetings in two phases with the factory owners in the May-December period of last year to expedite remediation work in the factories.
The deadline for the completion of factory remediation was set April 30 this year but no factory complied with the decision.
Nearly one and a half months have passed since the deadline ended but the government is yet to take any decision on whether the errant factories would be punished or the deadline would be extended.
‘Not the DIFE, but the ministry would decide what type of action would be taken against the factories in which remediation progress is not satisfactory,’ the DIFE inspector general said.
He said that the DIFE was supposed to hold a meeting of the National Tripartite Committee at the labour ministry last month but the meeting was not held.
The ministry knows when the NTC meeting would be held to make decision about the defaulting factories, Shamsuzzaman said.
The DIFE inspector general also said that the remediation progress in the national initiative-listed factories was 30 per cent up to April 30, and the progress increased by 2 more percentage points in the month of May due to uninterrupted monitoring by the department.
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