BATEXPO 2011 ends

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday urged the owners of garment factories to take adequate measures aiming at improving the well-being of their workers.
“Workers are the main force behind the machine for any productive industrial unit. So, if the workers live well the industries will run well,” Khaleda said at the 22nd Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition (Batexpo) in the city.
The Leader of the Opposition in parliament, Khaleda was invited as the chief guest at the closing ceremony of the three-day event at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who inaugurated the multi-party exposition, also raised her voice for the labours' welfare.
Khaleda in her speech asked the government for re-introduction, immediately, of the rationing system for basic food items for the workers and continue it over the years, so that “they can live well”.
Terming the current economic situation of the EU and the USA “volatile”, she urged the government for lending policy supports to the garment exporters soon so that the sector remains unhurt.
The BNP chief also said the banking sector is suffering as the government has already created vacuum in the sector by over-borrowing.
She said the government should notice the declining trend in manpower export to the Middle East.
Khaleda said unusual incidents take place in the garment sector very often for which production at the factories is hampered. “The government should ensure better working environment through improving laws and rules at the factories in greater interest of the sector itself.”
To ensure improved industrialisation, she asked the government for reducing surcharge at the Chittagong port, reducing the bank interest rate, resolving the crises of gas and power, keeping the flow of working capital going, increasing the export development fund and subsidising import of diesel for industrial usage.
She demanded for establishing dormitories for the workers, continuing lobbying with the US government for duty-free access of RMG items and strengthening the Bangladeshi missions abroad for better export performance.
Khaleda said to produce skilled manpower for the sector the government should provide technical support to BGMEA in establishing more training centres.
She also urged the government for upgrading the BGMEA Fashion Institute into a full-fledged university so that the country can meet the growing demand for merchandisers, fashion designers and quality controllers.

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