Tofail seeks increased RMG price in global market

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka

Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed Thursday sought higher price of Bangladeshi RMG products in global market in view of increased expenditures in the industry that ensured enhanced wages and safety standards.
‘The prices of RMG products are not being increased though a lot of progress has been made in the areas of safety, security and wages, Ahmed told a media briefing after joining an a conference on ‘Sustainable Sourcing in the Garment Sector, also attended by the Netherlands Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation minister Lilianne Ploumen.
He said the expenditures on the heads of workers’ wages and factory renovations cost a lot to the RMG unit owners while they were not getting the expected return against their increased investments.
‘Though the minimum wages are US$70 for RMG workers, but no one gets less than $120 that includes their monthly overtime,’ Ahmed added.
Speaking at the briefing the Netherlands minister agreed with Ahmed saying though a lot of investment was made in recent years the buyers did not enhance the prices of RMG products.
Ploumen, however, sought to ensure transparency at different value chains on the part the buyers and RMG unit owners in terms of pricing so the workers could also be benefitted in appropriate manner.
She appreciated enhanced wages but sought interventions of the concerned quarters to provide the ‘living wages’ so the income of one would ensure standard living for his or her family members.
She also acknowledged the improvement of the working condition and safety standards in the RMG industry saying ‘we look forward to continue to work together with the Bangladesh government, buyers, producers and workers to keep a pace with the improvement’.
The Netherlands minister, however, observed that investment in green technology to further improve the working condition and ensuring living wages for the workers remained to be major challenges for Bangladesh despite the significant developments after the 2013 Rana Plaza tragedy.
Asked for comments about Bangladesh initiatives to fight militancy, she said Bangladesh government took various initiatives to ensure safety and security for all including foreigners but this was not a problem of Bangladesh alone rather appeared as a global phenomenon.
Ploumen said her country was happy to work with the Bangladesh government while the two countries were not only working in the RMG sector alone but also in many other sectors including water management and solid business climate.

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