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B'deshi govt bears down on faulty garment plants
Publication Date : 19-03-2013
The Bangladeshi government will soon give a deadline to 334 garment factories in Dhaka to improve their safety standards, Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar stated yesterday.
The labour and employment ministry got the list of the factories last week from the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, which conducted a survey on the garment units.
“If the factories fail to take adequate fire safety measures within 15-20 days, the government will scrap their licences,” Shipar said.
However, these factories, mostly located in Old Dhaka, are not export-oriented.
The secretary also said the government does not want to close these factories as they provide jobs to a lot of people.
The ministry last month inspected around 500 factories, which were mainly involved in subcontracting for garment exporters.
“Most of these factories have already improved their fire safety standards. Others who failed will face punitive actions,” Shipar told The Daily Star by phone.
Brig Gen Ali Ahmed Khan, director general of Fire Service and Civil Defence Directorate, said, after the fire incident at Smart Export Garments in January, the labour ministry had asked them to conduct a survey.
In the survey, the directorate found 334 non-compliant factories near Bangshal in Old Dhaka.
“These factories are not export-oriented, but highly risky,” he said, adding that the number of workers is also very low.
These factories are also not the members of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
“We recommended the government relocate the factories to an industrial park,” he said.