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JICA signs MoU with Bangladesh associations for safety at RMG units

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth Taka 1.0 billion ($12.9 million)in loan and technical support from JICA was signed recently to build a safe working environment in the vulnerable readymade garment (RMG) and knitwear factories of Bangladesh.Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Bangladesh Bank (BB), Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) jointly signed the MoU.

Under the MoU, each vulnerable factory will get up to Taka 100 million ($1.29 million) based on its safety assessment reports, officials said.Japanese experts will provide the building assessment support under ‘RMG Sector Safe Working Environment Programme’ initiated in the MoU following the Rana Plaza disaster.

Two of JICA's on-going projects will contribute to this new initiative in two different aspects:‘Financial Sector Project for the Development of SMEs (FSPDSME)’ with the BB and ‘Capacity Development on Natural Disaster Resistant Techniques of Construction and Retrofitting for Public Buildings (CNCRP)’ with the Public Works Department.

The central bank will provide concessional financing such as maximum 10 per cent interest rate and up to 15 years repayment period with two year grace period to the garment factories through the existing FSPDSME procedure, JICA officials said.


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