Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Sunday turned down the request of Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments to stop issuance of utility declaration for 131 member factories for non-compliance.
After one and a half month of the request of DIFE, BGMEA informed that it would not be appropriate to stop issuance of UD before January 2019 as there were some export orders in the factories.
DIFE on September 20 issued separate letters to the presidents of BGMEA and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and asked them to stop providing UD to the factories as the remediation progress in the units was not satisfactory.
The department on October 25 sent a further letter to the BGMEA president to know whether any stapes were taken by the trade body in line with the previous letter of DIFE.
In the letter, DIFE informed BGMEA that as per the round-4 of escalation protocol the department requested the trade body to stop issuing UD to 131 factories for the next three months with an aim to expedite remediation in the units inspected under national initiative.
Replying to the letter, BGMEA said that the trade body held meeting with the factory owners on September 27 on the issue and they sought more time to make required remediation progress.
There were some export orders in the factories and they would need some more time to complete their shipment, the BGMEA said.
‘BGMEA think that it would be appropriate to take decision on discontinuing UD through further discussion with the factories in January 2019,’ the BGMEA letter read.
Md Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan, inspector general of DIFE, said he received the letter from BGMEA and the issue would be discussed in the next meeting of national tripartite committee.
‘As per the escalation protocol we requested BGMEA to stop issuing UD to the errant factories in an aim to expedite remediation progress and BGMEA should comply with the protocol as they agreed with the process in principle ,’ 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 the three initiatives — European retailers’ platform Accord, North American buyers’ platform Alliance and the government-led and ILO-supported national initiative.
Out of the 3,780 garment factories, 1,549 were inspected under the national initiative. Of them, 531 were closed, 69 relocated and 193 transferred to Accord and Alliance lists.
The factories that fell under the national initiative completed 32 per cent of remediation works, while 11 factories fixed 100 per cent safety faults, DIFE officials said.
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