Govt prods apparel firms in shared buildings to fix flaws

Dhaka,  Sat,  23 September 2017
Published : 07 Aug 2017, 22:12:02

Govt prods apparel firms in shared buildings to fix flaws

Meeting with Dhaka, Gazipur, N'ganj units tomorrow
FE Report

The government has started talks with the authorities of readymade garment (RMG) factories located at shared or rented buildings to expedite the post-inspection remediation work under the national initiative, officials said.

As part of the government's move to complete the remediation in some 1,549 garment factories inspected under the national initiative by June, 2018, the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) held meetings with the factories in Chittagong on Sunday and Monday.

Of 1,549, only 418 factories are located in their own buildings while the rest are located in rented buildings that accommodate other establishments including markets, they added.

 In Chittagong, there are about 104 factories where building and factory owners are different persons which is also one of the main reasons of slow progress, Inspector General of DIFE Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan told the FE Monday.

"We have discussed whether they agreed to carry out remediation or relocate," he said adding that the DIFE has reminded the garment authorities of completing the post-inspection remediation work by the middle of next year.

A large number of building owners are not ready to carry out remediation work and the DIFE has asked the factory authorities to relocate their units within a timeframe, he noted.

 The DIFE has signed agreements with the garment factories agreeing on the deadline as to when they would complete remediation and relocate those needed, he added.

 Funding is another problem identified in the meetings, ANM Saifuddin director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said adding marketing and financial condition of the Chittagong-based units are poor.

 They also informed that there is no pressure from buyers about the flaw-fixing work for units inspected under Western retailers' platforms -- Accord and Alliance, he said adding they mainly export to non-traditional markets.

The DIFE will sit with units located in rented buildings in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj from tomorrow (Wednesday) to identify the problems and devise ways to solve those, officials said.

Only 21 per cent of the identified flaws have so far been fixed in garment factories under the national initiative, they said.

More than 75 per cent of remediation has been completed in units inspected by Accord and Alliance.
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