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Dhaka Tribune

RMG action plan sees progress in 17 areas

Update : 14 Nov 2013, 07:47 PM

Bangladesh on Thursday sent a progress report on implementation of the action plan outlined by the US government in an effort to get back the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facility.

The Ministry of Commerce forwarded the progress report to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office.

“The report showed progress in 17 areas of the action plan recommended,” Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed told Dhaka Tribune, on Thursday.

“We’re hopeful about regaining the GSP facility as we have made significant progress in the action plan even 100% in some areas.”

Among the progress, the labour and employment ministry has taken initiatives to appoint 200 factory inspectors, the government withdrawn an order that forced suspension of the registration of two NGOs Bangladesh Centre for Women Solidarity, and Social Activities for the Environment.

The ministry also asked the Dhaka district magistrate to take steps to withdraw cases against labour leaders Kalpona Akter and Babul Akter as required in the US action plan.

Ahmed said: “We’ve explained why we failed to make progress in some areas and hope that the USTR would understand it.”

As per their recommendation the government has amended labour law, which would allow workers to form participatory union in the factory, he said.

Commenting on appointment of inspector for the factory inspection, he said the process is going and already some inspectors have been appointed.

The government has initiated the process of allowing trade union in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs), but it would take time, he added.

On June 27, the Obama administration suspended GSP facility for Bangladesh as it did not found progress in safety and labour standards after Tazreen Fashions fire and Rana Plaza building collapse.

The US government will review the GSP facility for Bangladesh in December.  

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