Government once again extended the deadline for up to six months for completing remediation works in readymade garment factories which were being inspected under the joint initiative of the Bangladesh government and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The department and the labour ministry held meeting with the authorities of 323 RMG factories in Dhaka, Narsingdi, Mymensingh, Tangail, Gazipur, and Narayanganj which were on stage 3 of escalation protocol and faced postponement of licence renewal from the department.
There were some other factories in which progress was on and the meeting decided to allow them 2-6 more months to complete works.
Six more months were allowed for the factories having 10-20 utilisation declarations a year and 2-4 more months for the factories having more than 20 utilisation declarations a year.
After completing the initial inspections in September, 2015, the authorities of RMG factories listed under the national initiative continue ignoring DIFE notice to expedite factory remediation and the government had increased time frame again and again without taking any action.
Earlier, the government had set April 30, 2018 as the deadline for completing the factory remediation works but almost all the factories missed the deadline.
In a meeting with BGMEA leaders and factory owners in June 2018, then state minister for labour Mujibul Haque once again extended the deadline for completing remediation up to December.
Following the April, 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people, a total of 3,780 garment factories were assessed for safety under three initiatives – European retailers’ platform Accord, North American buyers’ platform Alliance, and the government-led and ILO-supported national initiative.
Of the 3,780 garment factories, 1,549 were inspected under the national initiative. Of them, 531 were closed, 69 relocated and 193 transferred to Accord and Alliance lists.
According to the government data, the factories that fell under the national initiative completed 38 per cent of structural, 39 per cent of electrical and 34 percent of fire remediation. It also showed that 16 buildings housing 17 factories completed 100 percent remediation.