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Bangladesh set up a fund for garment workers

Bangladesh government is forming a central fund for the readymade garment sector. There will be contributions from owners, buyers, government and other sources. Export-oriented factories would have to contribute 0.03 per cent of their freight on board price to the fund while contributions from the government and buyers would be voluntary. The labour ministry on March 27 formed a 10-member board to set up the fund, determine contributions and their realisation procedure and provisions for utilisations of the money for welfare of beneficiaries in the RMG sector.

Lien banks of the export-oriented companies would pay the amount to the fund as automatic claim over the FoB prices that would come in the banks’ possession. There would be two bank accounts for the fund –– one will be a beneficiary account and the other will be a contingency account. Money would be deposited equally in the two accounts as per rules. The premium of group insurance and health insurance would be paid from the contingency account.

Grants for workers or their family members would be taken from the beneficiary account while amount deposited in the contingency account would be used to meet the dues of workers of any closed factory if its owner is unable to pay the workers. An executive board has been formed for the readymade garment sector as the sector is the highest export earner. The executive board for other sectors will be formed gradually.