a year ago

Govt set to finalise RMG Sustainability Council framework

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The government is set to finalise a framework for RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) with an eye to monitoring the overall activities of the national tripartite initiative - representing each of the three constituents from industry, global fashion brands, and global and local trade unions.

Earlier, in its third meeting held in October, the Government Coordination Council (GCC) decided to finalise the proposed draft.

It is supposed to submit the framework to the commerce ministry first for approval and then to the labour and employment ministry.

Different provisions mentioned in the framework do not conflict with the license conditions of RSC - the framework, if implemented, would rather bring coordination between the Department of Factory and Establishment Inspection (DIFE) and RSC, a senior official said.

The aim of the state entity DIFE and RSC is the same as both are working to ensure sustainability in the country's RMG sector, he added.

Under the framework, RSC will have to provide a safety report and summary of the factories to the DIFE every three months (condition No. 07 of licence).

RSC will create an interlinking database with DIFE, containing available information about the list of factories, progress status, escalation status and other requirements set by DIFE (condition No. 16 of licence).

If any accident occurs, RSC will have to inform DIFE immediately (condition No. 19 of licence).

The sustainability council along with DIFE should prepare a common standard as per Bangladesh Labour Act and Rules, BNBC, Fire Act and other international standards, if necessary (condition No. 14 of license).

Moreover, the chief safety officer (CSO) will inform the IG, DIFE, before releasing the remediation report to the public to avoid any kind of collision (condition No. 13 of licence).

The DIFE has the right to review and supervise the safety situation of the factory premises including RSC (condition No. 08 of licence).

The GCC constituted under Section 41 of the RSC will be able to oversee the activities of the RSC and provide necessary guidance to enforce Section 41 of the Code of Conduct in the light of allegations of illegal activities by the government and this will be considered as a final decision (condition No. 10 of licence).

If any factory person is offended by any decision of RSC factory inspection and remediation activities, the factory person may file an appeal against the decision to the review panel constituted by the government within 30 days of receipt of the decision, according to the framework.

According to the appeal, the review panel, convened by IG of the DIFE, can take a necessary action and it will be considered as the final decision.

The main objectives of the framework are to ensure structural, fire, electrical and other safety-related issues through an effective coordination between DIFE and RSC; establish a common safety standard according to national and international laws, rules and regulations; and fulfil the conditions of RSC license agreement given by the Ministry of Commerce.

RSC is a registered joint-stock company licensed by the commerce ministry, according to the section 28 of the Company Act, 1994.

It was permitted by the ministry to ensure fire, electrical, structural and boiler safety in the export oriented RMG sector in Bangladesh on May 19, 2020.

As per EU action plan 84, a framework has to be formed by the labour and employment ministry for coordination of RSC activities, in consultation with the commerce ministry.

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