The government has moved to bring back Bangladesh Apparel Board for regulating the readymade garment and textile sector after hundreds of workers died in the country’s most deadly industrial accident.
Prime Minister’s Office gave primary consent to the matter while commerce ministry is now working on it, said a senior official in the ministry of commerce.
The commerce ministry officials will sit together today to prepare proposals for a new apparel board.
The proposals will be discussed with the stakeholders and placed before the cabinet for approval in a month, said the official.
According to other commerce ministry sources, the apparel board will include one stop shop system to deliver service to RMG traders and stakeholders.
The sources said the decision to include one stop service system was taken after allegations from BGMEA and BKMEA that they were facing problems to get service from government offices.
In 1999, the Bangladesh Apparel Board Act was approved by the cabinet committee during the previous Awami League regime recognising the necessity of such a board as the commerce ministry’s apparel cell alone could not handle the whole sector.
BNP-led four-party alliance government, however, later cancelled the approval arguing that the apparel cell of the commerce ministry would be enough to monitor RMG sector.
Once Apparel Board comes into existence, the commerce ministry’s apparel cell will work textile and jute ministry to avoid overlapping of works.
As per rules approved in 1999, the Ministry of Finance will assess incomes and expenditures of the Board where most of the employments will be third and fourth classes.
President of Bangladesh Exporters Association Abdul Salam Murshedy told Dhaka Tribune that the local garment sector should be under a new ministry if their demands are fully met.
“We doubt if our all demands and needs of workers will be addressed,” he said.
The commerce secretary Mahbub Ahmed said: “The ministry is working for an Apparel Board. It will definitely take time to form the board.”
Meanwhile, the textiles and jute ministry is also working with draft of the proposed Apparel Board Act-2012.
Earlier, the ministry formed a committee with its officials to formulate the draft.