A recent survey has found most of the 1,163 member factories of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association are either closed or are non-existent. Yet these RMG factories still enjoy BGMEA membership thanks to ballot politics.
According to a number of BGMEA members, the non-existent factories maintain their membership by paying annual subscription fees to the trade body. The members who take part in elections to the executive body of the association often pay the money for the owners of the closed and non-existent factories to increase their vote base, they said.
The BGMEA conducted the survey to find out the real status of its member factories. According to a BGMEA official involved with the process, most of the 1,163 closed factories have no existence and they have no chance of restarting business but some of the units closed operations in recent years due to noncompliance and shortage of orders and they are trying to resume operations.
According to some BGMEA members, a good number of factories disappeared from the sector due to the impact of quota phase-out in the RMG sector in 2005 but most of the factories maintained membership of the trade body.