DHAKA, August 30, 2018 (BSS) – Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) today urged the buyers of the Ready-made Garments (RMG) sector to increase product price for improving working environment of the garments industries and increasing wages of workers.
The civil society think-tank made the call at the inaugural session of a conference, titled “Transformation in the RMG Sector in Post-Rana Plaza Period Findings from CPD Survey” at a hotel in the city.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Textiles and Jute Saber Hossain Chowdhury attended the session as the chief guest while CPD Chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan was in the chair.
Among others, Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and CPD Executive Director Fahmida Khatun delivered speeches on the occasion.
CPD Research Director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem and Visiting Research Associate Abeer Khandker presented the findings of the “CPD RMG Study 2016”.
Saber Hossain Chowdhury said the government is emphasizing on improving the working environment in the RMG sector since it is the main source of the country’s export earnings.
Rehman Sobhan said the product price of the sector is now less than the other RMG exporting countries, so buyers should increase the price for rejuvenating the sector.
“Buyers, especially big brand organisations, fix the product price. Buyers and entrepreneurs are taking lion’s share of the profit. Equity should be ensured in this sector” he added.
After the collapse of Rana Plaza, Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said, Bangladesh is making all sorts of efforts to ensure better working environment in the RMG sector.
“About 12 hundred factories have been turned into green factories. Working environment of the factories has been improved. Now, workers are working with dignity. But, the prices of the RMG product do not increase in the international market,” he added.
Golam Moazzem said brands, buyers, government and development partners should provide necessary assistance for their upgrading in order to ensure competitiveness in the changing market scenario.
“The structure of RMG enterprises give an indication that a sizable share of enterprises have the potentials to ‘take off’ provided they could improve in terms of technological readiness, improved management practices, further improvement of the workers skill particularly that of female workers,” he added.
At the same time, he said, there is apprehension that without ensuring a balanced level of upgrading, a section of enterprises (small and enterprises outside the group) would find difficult to maintain their competitiveness.