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Panel Sets $385 Million Price Tag on Bangladesh Revamp

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When it comes to shoring up the Bangladesh garment sector, a panel of experts has determined that the government needs to invest around $385 million to improve safety and working conditions. The estimate was compiled by a panel of experts from NGOs, the government, and RMG sector.

The investments would not fix all the problems. More than 1,000 factories need to be relocated, which could cost as much as $1.28 billion. Ideally, according to the panel, the government and private developers would front that money to the factory owners, which could be paid back over time.

There could also be a 1 to 2 percent tax on FOB, which would pay for the factory refurbishment program.

Additional recommendations included unannounced fire drills following on-site fire training, a rise in the minimum wage, and idea exchanges and training centers to raise the skill level and productivity of workers.

Following the panel, the Norwegian government pledged $2.5 million to support labor. The money is earmarked to improve labor relations across all export oriented industries, but the RMG secotr is expected to claim the lion’s share of the money, as it comprises about 70 percent of Bangladesh exports.



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