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23/04/2014: Govt considering introduction of mandatory insurance for RMG workers: PM

Govt considering introduction of mandatory insurance for RMG workers: PM
DHAKA, April 23, 2014 (BSS)- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said that the government is actively considering introduction of mandatory insurance system for garment workers.

She said this when the deputy director general for field operations and partnerships of the International Labor Organisation (ILO), Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, raised the issue during a call on with the Prime Minister at her official residence Ganobhaban here this evening.

PM's special assistant Mahbubul Hoque Shakil briefed reporters after the meeting.

He said that the Prime Minister also sought cooperation of the ILO and other development partners to create a skilled workforce in the country.

Listing various steps of her government to ensure welfare of the garment workers, the Prime Minister said that her government has increased the minimum wages of the garment workers from Tk 1600 to Tk 5300 in the last five years.

Regarding the Rana Plaza building collapse, Sheikh Hasina mentioned that her government had conducted rescue operation for long 21 days after the tragic incident which was unprecedented.

"As the head of the government, I performed my duty during the Rana Plaza accident from the place of responsibility," she said.

In this connection, she mentioned her government's all out assistance including providing financial assistance and food to the victims and their families of the Rana Plaza collapse.

The ILO deputy director general highly appreciated the government's steps and personal initiative of the Prime Minister after the Rana Plaza collapse.

"We think that this kind of undesired disaster could be avoided through creating working-friendly atmosphere in the factories," he said.

Ambassador-At-Large M Ziauddin, PMO Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad, Labour and Employment Secretary Mikail Shipar and PM's Special Assistant Mahbubul Hoque Shakil were present on the occasion.

Gilbert Houngbo arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday ahead of the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse on April 24.

Earlier, a delegation of OMRON Healthcare Bangladesh Ltd led by its President and Chief Executive Officer Kiichiro Miyata called on the Prime Minister.

During the time, the delegation handed over Omron brand Blood Pressure Machine to the Prime Minister.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim and State Minister Zahid Malek Swapan were present, among others.