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Bangladesh Proposes New Textile Industry Law to Crack Down on Non-Compliance

Bangladesh has taken another step to streamline its garment sector—the government proposed a new law, the Textile Industries Establishment Act 2015, expected to curb illegally operating facilities and ensure the industry’s compliance.

As part of the law, no garment factory could be established or run without registration, and if caught without the approval to do business, violators would face one year imprisonment or a 1 lakh taka ($1,285) penalty, according to New Age Bangladesh.

A designated Directorate of Textiles would serve as the readymade garment sector’s sponsoring authority, and any officers the directorate designates could inspect factories at will and request required documents without warning.

Some stakeholders, however, are saying the law could be “detrimental to the industry,” New Age reported.

The Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), for one, said the registration rules under the proposed law should apply only to new establishments and that licenses for existing facilities should be renewed based on the previous license bestowed by the Board of Investment.

BKMEA also said instead of the so far stipulated three-year period for factory license renewals, licenses should be renewed every 10 years as “the industry is not a trading company,” according to New Age.

The Bangladesh government had given stakeholders until Sept. 1 to submit comments and feedback on the draft law and now that the deadline has passed, officials will meet with stakeholders again to finalize the draft.

If enacted, existing factories would have six months to register with the Directorate under the new textile act.