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Draft of Apparel Board Act to be placed before cabinet today

The draft of ‘Textile and Apparel Board Act, 2012’ is likely to be placed before the cabinet today for its approval, officials said.

Ministry of Textile and Jute (MoTJ) had prepared the draft which was delayed for a long time due to differences among the Board of Investment, MoTJ and other government agencies, they added.

“The draft Act is likely to be placed before the cabinet again Thursday for its nod,” a senior government official involved with the process told the FE Wednesday.

The main purpose of the Act is to form a board to provide one stop service to the country’s $21 billion garment industry, he said adding the board will work as a core authority under the ministry.

The garment industry has flourished in a scattered manner and there is no core authority to oversee the largest foreign currency earning sector, he said.

“A core authority is needed to supervise the sector, identify the problems and suggest solutions, especially after tragic incidents at Tazreen and Rana Plaza,” he added.

Industry insiders and officials said, country’s apparel industry still lacks any core authority to control and supervise its affairs even though the sector has emerged as the country’s largest foreign currency earner in gross aggregate terms.

According to them, although different ministries and agencies including ministries of jute and textile, commerce and labour and employment, and agencies like Fire Service and Civil Defence look into various aspects of the industry, there is no effective coordination among them.

As a result, ensuring compliance with necessary safety safeguards in a majority of the readymade garment (RMG) factories still remains a far cry, they observed.

The government and the trade promotion body in the RMG sector usually take some steps, mostly of ad hoc nature, like formation of taskforces, inspection and compliance committees and probe bodies, they said.

The steps are taken only after incidents of fire and building collapse take place but these hardly yield any fruit, they noted.

Earlier in January 2012, a committee was formed with representatives from MoTJ, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Labour and Employment, BoI, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) to formulate the draft of the Act aiming to create an effective board.

The Bangladesh Trade Support Programme (BTSP), in its study report, had recommended representation of all the ministries, departments and agencies in the board.

Creation of an apparel board under the MoTJ would be a timely and appropriate step to look after RMG sector, it suggested.

Parliamentary Standing Committee on the ministry had also recommended the formation of an apparel board in 2000.


-Monira Munni/ http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/index.php?ref=MjBfMTBfMDNfMTNfMV85MF8xODU2NjA=

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