11/22/2013, 00.00
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Garment factories to undergone major inspection following Rana Plaza tragedy

Engineering staff will examine the safety equipment and structural integrity of 1000 plants. Meanwhile, protests continue with workers demanding a minimum monthly salary of 8,000 taka (US$ 103).

Dhaka (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Bangladesh starts inspecting garment factories to evaluate whether they meet safety standards.The government ordered the inspections following the Rana Plaza tragedy when a building collapsed killing more than a thousand people.

Experts from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology will be responsible for the technical probe. Thirty teams of engineers will begin assessing 200 clothing factories over eight weeks with plans to inspect 1,000 factories on structural integrity, fire and electrical safety

Bangladesh is the world's largest garment exporter after China with the industry accounting for more than 10 per cent of its GDP.The country has about 4,500 factories, employing more than 2 million people, 70 per cent of whom are women.

The accidents at the Rana Plaza and Fashion Tazreen highlighted the appalling conditions in which they work.

In recent months, workers employed at the Gazipur and Ashulia industrial parks have gone on strike for higher wages. Last week, a business group offered to raise the minimum wage to 5,300 taka (US$ 68) a month, but the workers insist on 8,000 taka (US$ 103).

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