Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Saturday alleged that the global retailers of Bangladeshi garment products put new conditions once previous ones are met in the name of ensuring safety in the country’s largest export industry.
“Buyers keep coming up with new demands and say ‘do these’ etc. Motive of these stuff is to create pressures on the manufacturers,” he said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of “Digital RMG Factory Mapping in Bangladesh” as the chef guest in Dhaka.
“Now the Accord wants to look into the labour rights. That is not their job. The Ministry of Labour and Employment is there to look after that. There is a law like Bangladesh Labour Act 2013,” Tofail said.
“Whatever is needed to ensure workers’ rights will be done in accordance with the country’s law.”
Tofail said: “During visits to garment factories with ambassadors, I talked to workers about the trade unions. They (the workers) said they don’t want interference of the outsiders in this issue.” “But there are some trade union leaders who would like to speak against the country.”
Commerce minister said the propaganda goes on about the country’s garment industry which is the second largest supplier of RMG products in the international market. “India aspires to take over us and be the second in position of global RMG suppliers.”
He urged the trade union leaders to be “patriots and work for the branding of the country.” “If our garment sector is in trouble, our workers will be the losers.”
The “Digital RMG Factory Mapping in Bangladesh” project is aimed at mapping of the ready-made garment factories in Bangladesh digitally to provide information about the location, types of factories and products, certification and other related data.
The four-year programme funded by C&A Foundation will be done by Centre for Entrepreneurship Development of Brac University. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) will act as strategic partner for the programme, which will end in 2021.
Brac University Vice Chancellor Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, BGMEA President Md Siddiqur Rahman and General Manager of C&A Sourcing Bangladesh Shantanu Singh were also present at the function.
Professor Andaleed stressed the need to conduct research on the future of the garment industry. “Do we know what will be in the RMG sector in next 20 years? But the research can help us anticipate what will happen in future.”
Urging to adopt the changes in the world, Andaleed said the world is “changing dramatically and it will affect our personal and family life, even national life if we do not adopt the changes.”