Keep banks open during holidays until Eid: BGMEA

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) yesterday urged the government to keep banks open during holidays ahead of Eid to help them pay salaries to garment workers.

"We have already sent letters to the related ministry and Bangladesh Bank in this regard," said Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of BGMEA.

Murshedy said the trade body had decided to pay salaries of garment workers in advance so that they can share joys and happiness with family members during the festival.

He said the BGMEA has enough preparations to pay all wages, due overtimes and bonus in time as they are now working with the government.

It is not possible to pay salaries to tens of thousands of garment workers in a day or two, he said, adding that that is why the government has been requested to keep financial institutions open during Eid holidays for smooth transition of money.

Besides, he said, National Board of Revenue has also been requested to keep banks at customs points open to expedite export-import activities.

The garment leader said leaders of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and the BGMEA formed a central committee and 10 regional committees to see whether any factory owner does not pay salaries in time.

On anticipated RMG unrest ahead of the festival, Murshedy said his association, the government and intelligence agencies are working closely to avert any unrest.

He said the cost of factory owners will be increased at least 35 to 50 percent once the new wage structure is implemented.

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