After 10 months, Accord will hand over the monitoring of the safety and compliance progress to the Remediation Coordination Cell
Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a platform of European apparel buyers to improve safety standards in apparel sector, has sought an extension of around 10 more months to finish the remaining remediation process in the apparel sector.
In a meeting with a government-formed committee on Thursday, which oversees settlement issues, the Accord placed its extension request for transition and completing the remediation process, and hand over the monitoring of the safety and compliance progress to the Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC).
The government had earlier formed a committee headed by an additional secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment. Other members of the committee include representatives from the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE), Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC), the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and the Accord.
“The Accord has sought an extension of 281 days to complete remediation process in apparel sector,” a high official of the Labour and Employment Ministry, seeking anonymity, told the Dhaka Tribune.
As of now, the Accord has completed over 94% of remediation works. So the demand for 281 days extension to complete the remaining remediation is not logical, said the official.
Meanwhile, the BGMEA thinks the Accord can complete its unfinished task much earlier than the requested time.
“In reaching a consensus, the government has formed a committee and it is working to resolve the issues. As the apex trade body of the apparel sector, we want an amicable settlement,” BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune.
Considering the present status of the remediation, the Accord needs a maximum of six months to complete the remediation of the factories, he added.
As per the latest data of the Accord, 89% initial remediation have been completed, while 197 factories completed the initial remediation and over 90% remediation at 996 factories are done.
After the collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013, Accord, an initiative of European RMG retailers, started to work in Bangladesh apparel industry to improve safety standards with a five years time frame, which ended in June 2018.
Later, the government extended its tenure by six months to complete the remediation process and handover it to the Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC) to monitor the safety issues by November 30 last year.
Meanwhile, the High Court had asked Accord to conclude its activities by November 30 last year, based on a case filed by a Chittagong-based apparel factory Smart Jeans.
Against the court order, the Accord had appealed and the next hearing on the appeal will be held on February 18, 2019.