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BGMEA's workers' database initiative gets poor response

BGMEA, the apex body of the Bangladeshi apparel sector decided to create a central workers' database in view of the disasters that claimed several lives last year. However, the initiative is getting poor response with only 270 out of the country's 3,500 existing apparel units so far getting listed with the central workers' database since it was launched in May, 2013.

The readymade garment (RMG) workers' central database is aimed to automate the apparel industry and its all employees using latest technology. Since database creation is an expensive project, the small and medium garment factory owners are hesitant to get listed on the workers' database. Industry body does not expect more than 500 unites to get registered by the end of this year.

In 2008, the BGMEA officially announced it would make a central workers' database. However, it did not move beyond the announcement level. The database has become a serious issue to ensure safety and legality of a factory following the tragedies like fire and building collapse in the country. On March 9, 2013, BGEMA, the platform of apparel makers signed two memorandums of understanding (MoU) with Information Solutions (ISL) and Systech-Tiger IT on issuance of digital Certificate of Origin (CoO) and biometric identity to RMG workers.