Apparel exporters demand package for 3 months’ worker wages  

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:16, Apr 25,2021


Readymade garments and textile exporters have urged the government to allocate to the sectors a financial package similar to that of 2020 for payment of workers’ wages for three months saying that the sector had been facing financial crises due to the fresh surge in coronavirus infections across the globe.

The three RMG and textiles sector trade bodies – the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association – on Sunday sent a letter to finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal demanding financial support for payment of workers’ festival allowances and wages for the months of April, May and June.

In the letter, the apparel sector leaders demanded the allocation under the same conditions of the stimulus package received in 2020 for payment of workers’ wages but did not mention a definite amount.

In March 2020, the government announced a package worth Tk 5,000 crore with 2 per cent service charge for export-oriented industries to pay workers’ wages for three months to fight the adverse impacts of the coronavirus outbreak on local businesses.

Finally, the apparel and textiles received around Tk 10,500 crore under the package to pay five months of workers’ wages.

Citing the facility received in 2020, the country’s apparel exporters in their letter said that it would be difficult for the factory owners to pay festival allowances and wages to their workers before Eid-ul-Fitr without allocation of funds from the government on easy terms like the previous year.

They said that the apparel exporters were facing liquidity crises as a good number of buyers had declined to pay on time due to fresh lockdowns imposed in many countries.

‘We have sent a letter to the government seeking funds for payment of three months’ wages and festival allowances for the workers as the exporters have been facing additional pressure due to the second wave of Covid-19,’ BGMEA president Faruque Hassan told New Age on Sunday.

He said that they had not mentioned any amount in the letter as the government ministries and departments concerned had knowledge of the amount needed from disbursements made in 2020.

The BGMEA president said that judging by the 2020 estimates, the amount needed to pay three months’ wages, including festival allowances, would stand at around Tk 8,000 crore.

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