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27 March, 2020 12:39:50 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 27 March, 2020 05:57:18 PM

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BGMEA urges shutdown of RMG factories till April 4

Plants making PPE can continue work
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
BGMEA urges shutdown of RMG factories till April 4

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday urged its members to close garment factories till April 4 amid deteriorating coronavirus situation in the country. In an open letter to its members, BGMEA President Rubana Huq urged garments owners to close their factories to avoid the risk of coronavirus spread amid continuous cancellation of orders from foreign buyers.

The BGMEA currently has more than 2,000 members. In her letter, the BGMEA chief said, “On the occasion of the Independence Day and National Day, our Prime Minister has given us some directions. She called for some conscious steps for the safety and well-being of all.”

“The prime minister directed us to stay at homes to discharge our responsibilities at this critical juncture.  As the RMG is the largest industry of the country, we should set an example by following the directives of the prime minister,” said Rubana.

“To follow the directions, I hope the factory owners will close their factories,” she said.

In a separate statement, the BGMEA chief said the factories that are planning to make PPE are encouraged to remain

open and their workers can move for work.  When asked about the BGMEA chief’s message, owner of an RMG unit, preferring not to be named, said that they have received the letter.

“However, the letter was a request and it did not order us to close factories. We will take a decision in this regard after holding discussions with other owners,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced a Tk 5,000 crore stimulus package for export-oriented industries including the RMG to fight the impact of coronavirus on the economy.

“I’m declaring a stimulus package of Tk 5,000 crore for export-oriented industries which could only be used for paying salaries and allowances of their workers and employees,” she said in her address on the eve of the Independence and National Day 2020.

Immediately after the premier’s announcement, BGMEA President Dr Rubana Haque in a video message expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the prime minister for declaring the stimulus package.

Global buyers have cancelled orders worth at least $2.65 billion of readymade garment products from Bangladesh as many top fashion brands have shut their stores in Europe and North America amid coronavirus outbreak and lockdowns, according to BGMEA sources.

As of yesterday, 954 factories have reported that the buyers cancelled orders of 822.91 million pcs of clothes (worth $ 2.65 billion) which will directly affect nearly 1.94 million workers, the source added.


IK

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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