Every industry will be brought under central welfare fund: HPM Sheikh Hasina


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said all manufacturing and exporting industries would be brought under the central fund of the Ministry of the Labour and Employment created to provide financial support to the families of the workers who die or receive grave injuries in their working places.

"We have already given instructions to the Commerce Ministry to bring all garments exporters under the central fund of the Labour and Employment Ministry," Sheikh Hasina said.

The prime minister was distributing cheques for compensation among crippled garment workers and family members of the deceased garment workers from a fund created by the readymade garment (RMG) sector at her office on Sunday. Cheques for the support to 234 deceased and injured garment workers were issued.

The central fund under the Labour and Employment Ministry has been created with 0.03 percent of the export volume of the industries under BGMEA and BKMEA for welfare of the workers of the export oriented RMG sector.

A garment worker or his/her heirs would get Taka 3 lakh from the fund in case of death or grave injuries during their work. In case of any decomposition or death outside the working place a worker would get Taka 2 lakh from the fund.

The prime minister extended her thanks to the BGMEA and BKMEA for their 'epoch making' steps for welfare of the garment workers saying 'it's a good start'.... it's a one step forward towards welfare of the working people.

She urged the apex bodies of the garment and knitting sectors to complete the work on preparing a database of the workers to make the system of giving support from the fund easy.

State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haq Chunnu and president of Bangladesh Readymade Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Siddiqur Rahman spoke, among others, on the occasion.

President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Mohiuddin Ahmed, PM's Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser and acting secretary of the Labour Ministry Afroza Khan were present.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the workers to remain alert so that none can disrupt the operation of the industries from which their bread and butter comes. Workers must remain careful so that no accident occurs in the industries at the instigation of outsiders, she said.

Pointing out the steps taken by her government for welfare of the working class people, the prime minister said the labour law has been amended for welfare of the workers. The government has more plans for their welfare, she said.

The prime minister hoped that the owners of the garment industries would continue their stride for welfare of the workers and given them a share of their annual profits as workers are the main instrument to keep their industries operational.

Laying importance on good relations between owners and workers, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government has taken steps in this regard and established the legitimate rights of the workers.

She said the Directorate of Inspector has been strengthened aimed at ensuring safety measures in the industries and factories.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has taken a number of steps in the interest of the RMG sector following formation of the government for the third time in 2014. Minimum wage of the garment workers has been enhanced to Taka 5,300 from Taka 3000, she said.

In the current fiscal, she said, advance tax for RGM industries has been reduced to 0.70 percent though it was proposed 1 percent in the budget. Income tax rate for green industries has been reduced to 10 percent from 20 percent and 12 percent from 20 percent for other industries. Import tax on raw materials of prefabricated building and fire extinguishing equipment was reduced to 5 percent.

Sheikh Hasina said her government after coming to power in 1996 had taken trade and business and industrialisation as prime agenda. During the 1996-2001 period, she said the government had taken many pragmatic measures for development of the export oriented garment industries.

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