Reinstating GSP to US market 200 factory inspectors soon

11 February 2014 Kazi Zahidul Hasan

The government has decided to appoint 200 more factory inspectors as part of its ongoing efforts to reinstate the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) to the US market, official sources said on Monday.
The issue came up at the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina give her consent, a cabinet minister told The New Nation yesterday preferring anonymity. "Prime Minister will appoint the inspectors in exercise of her special power to avert the lengthy process of the government job," he noted.  
He said, Prime Minister also discussed the present situation of the country's garments sector and progress of the action plan of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for retaining Bangladesh's GSP status in the US market.
She also asked the concerned ministries to fulfill USTR's condition immediately.
 "She asked them to handle issues of the industry carefully in the wake of sharp criticism due to factory incidents from the foreign press and international community," he said.         
The US government suspended the GSP facility on June 27, citing poor labour rights and bad working conditions at garment factories in Bangladesh.
 "The recruitment of 200 more factory inspectors has been taken to fulfill conditions of the USTR," said the minister, adding, "Bangladesh has already met13 conditions of the USTR out of 16 to regain the trade privilege to US market."
He also said that the recruitment process would be completed by March under special arrangements and those who passed in BCS examination as non-cadre would be posted as the factory inspectors.
The minister also mentioned that the government had taken series of steps in line with the action plans recommended by the USTR for the reinstatement of Bangladesh's GSP status in the US market.
Official sources said, apart from the appointment of inspectors, the government would set up seven more fire stations, especially in the garment industrial belts to convince the US government to reinstate the trade privileges.
Earlier, the government has amended the Labour Law 2006, giving workers freedom to organize trade unions at factories which was a condition of the USTR.
"We will fulfill all the conditions given by the international communities without making further delay apart from implementing the action plan of the USTR in an effort to give a fresh boost to our foreign trade," said a commerce ministry official.

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