An RMG factory owner died of coronavirus on Thursday
Export-oriented apparel factory owners yesterday decided to keep their factories closed until April 25, in line with the government's instruction on extending the public holiday.
The announcement was made through a joint statement issued by the BGMEA President Rubana Huq and BKMEA President AKM Salim Osman.
If any factory owner wants to pay their workers during the holiday period they need to inform the BGMEA, BKMEA, and Industrial Police, according to the statement.
The government in a notification yesterday extended the nationwide holiday for 11 more days to intensify the anti-Covid-19 campaign as the virus continues to claim more lives and infect people in increased number in the country.
The notification also says April 17-18 and April 24-25 weekends will be added to the holidays.
The country's apex apparel bodies previously asked its members to keep their factories closed until 14 to halt the spread of coronavirus outbreak.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday asked garment exporters to close down all their factory units, barring those making personal protection equipment (PPE) and masks during the coronavirus pandemic.
The apparel trade bodies came under criticism when they had decided to reopen factories on April 5, which caused thousands of workers to come to Dhaka, risking coronavirus transmissions.
In the face of criticism, BGMEA and other trade bodies asked its member factories to remain closed.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on March 25 announced a Tk5,000 crore incentive package for paying the salaries and allowances of export-oriented industries’ workers and employees.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Tuesday urged factory owners to pay the salary for the month of March to their workers within April 16.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) on Wednesday said the export-oriented industries were not allowed to pay salaries to their factory officials from the Tk5,000 crore bailout package announced to shore up the struggling sector hard hit by the corona panedemic.
Only the workers and employees would be entitled to the rescue package, the BB said.
Besides, the Tk5,000 crore fund would be disbursed to workers and employees equally in three months–from April to June, another BB circular said.
Meanwhile, an RMG factory owner died of coronavirus on Thursday.
Md Taslim Akhter, chairman of Prince Garments Pvt Ltd, breathed his last at 3:30pm while undergoing treatment at Kuwait-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital, BGMEA said in a press note.