The government has taken steps to start issuing compliance certificates to readymade garments factories in the form of Accord and Alliance, which completed its remediation process under the national initiative — Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC).
The Ministry of Labour and Employment wants to start issuing the certificates to a few factories that have completed hundred percent of their remediation work.Government officials said some 100 apparel factories, which were previously under the inspection of The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (Accord) and The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance), were handed over to the Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC) after completion of 80 percent to 97 percent of their remediation work.
Accord is a platform for factory inspection and remediation of 220 European retailers and brands, while Alliance is a consortium of North American fashion brands and buyers.
Besides, another 300 factories, which were terminated through Accord and Alliance scrutiny, were also brought under the inspection of RCC.
Labour and Employment Secretary KM Ali Azam told journalists during a visit to two factories -- Debonair Limited and Fashion.com Ltd -- at Ashulia in Savar on Saturday. Expressing his satisfaction over their progress, the labour secretary hoped these two factories will be issued remediation completion certificate by the next week.
The labour and employment secretary said he has given directives to officials of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) to follow the government code of conduct during inspection and remediation work strictly.
KM Ali Azam also instructed DIFE officials not to delay distributing the remediation completion certificates to the factories that have completed hundred percent remediation work.The labour and employment secretary also informed journalists that 697 out of 1,549 factories under RCC are currently operating their factories. These factories have completed about 38 percent of their overall remediation work.
While explaining the reasons for the slow progress in remediation, DIFE Inspector General Shib Nath Roy said, “The factories being inspected under the national initiative are relatively weak in terms of their financial capabilities.”
After the collapse of Rana Plaza building on 24 April 2013, which killed over 1,100 people, Accord and Alliance were formed for five years to improve the work environment of garments factories.
They inspected over 2,000 factories and detected various flaws. Accord was supposed to end its activities in May last year. According to BGMEA, the Accord has provided compliance certificate only to 200 factories.
Accord imposed newer conditions to provide compliance and safety certificate on the companies, though the companies finished 80-97 percent of the remediation work.
Alliance folded up its activities in December last. However, Accord signed a MoU with BGMEA on May 8 this year and got an additional 281 days to conduct its activities in Bangladesh.