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Workers bodies say proposed amendment to labour law not enough

Business Report

The government is preparing to amend the labour law in the next session of parliament but labour organizations remained opposed to saying that important reforms to protect labour rights were largely unattended in the draft.
The government leaders however claim that they have prepared the draft following consultations with stakeholders in tripartite meeting of labour unions, industry owners and the government leaders.
It appears that the government is taking steps to amend the labour law on pressure of the western government and international labour organizations which want to see labour rights protected properly in new law, as importers of Bangladesh products, particularly garments they have enough power on the situation and if it appears that the new law has failed to sufficiently protect labour rights, the controversy may further deepen instead of  resolving the problem takeholders 
The government is obliged to pass the amendment by November as agreed at the  International Labour Conference in June and it is expected passed by the parliament in the next session report said last week quoting Mujibul Haque Chunnu, state minister for labour and employment.
He said the draft copy of the proposed amendment of the labour law has been forwarded to the International Labour Organisation before the deadline of August 31 for their consultation.
The draft was prepared in consultation with the stakeholders of the tripartite council that was formed for the garment sector in April, the minister said. Chunnu denied the allegation that Bangladesh is lagging behind in amending the labour law as per the commitment.
He also denied the allegations of the international rights groups that labour and union leaders were being harassed by police. “I have not heard any information regarding the harassment of labour leaders. I have been holding meetings with labour leaders frequently on different issues. Nobody complained, the minister said.
The development comes as the European Union has long been urging Bangladesh to show tangible progress on labour rights to avoid losing the generalised system of preferences (GSP) benefit that allows the country duty-free export to the 28-nation bloc.
Meanwhile, a coalition of labour organisations yesterday called on the European Commission to launch an investigation into the Bangladesh government’s failure to make necessary reforms to protect workers’ rights.
The abuses in the report show that the government is in violation of the sustainability compact it signed with the European Union in August 2013 committing to responsible business behaviour and ensuring workplace safety.
“The government of Bangladesh is consistently failing to meet its obligations under international law to protect workers’ rights,” said Sharan Burrow, general secretary to the International Trade Union Confederation.
Subsequently, in light of the new evidence, the trade unions and labour organisations are renewing their calls to the European Commission to make good on its promise to launch a trade investigation into Bangladesh.
EU is Bangladesh’s largest trade partner and its action could spur significant change in the country, the letter said.
On behalf of the European Trade Union Confederation, Confederal Secretary Liina Carr stated: “We call the European Commission to be consistent with its “Trade for all” agenda to promote the respect of labour rights around the world.” So if the government si not enough careful, the amendment may not be enough to end the misgivings.

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Business Report

The government is preparing to amend the labour law in the next session of parliament but labour organizations remained opposed to saying that important reforms to protect labour rights were largely unattended in the draft.
The government leaders however claim that they have prepared the draft following consultations with stakeholders in tripartite meeting of labour unions, industry owners and the government leaders.
It appears that the government is taking steps to amend the labour law on pressure of the western government and international labour organizations which want to see labour rights protected properly in new law, as importers of Bangladesh products, particularly garments they have enough power on the situation and if it appears that the new law has failed to sufficiently protect labour rights, the controversy may further deepen instead of  resolving the problem takeholders 
The government is obliged to pass the amendment by November as agreed at the  International Labour Conference in June and it is expected passed by the parliament in the next session report said last week quoting Mujibul Haque Chunnu, state minister for labour and employment.
He said the draft copy of the proposed amendment of the labour law has been forwarded to the International Labour Organisation before the deadline of August 31 for their consultation.
The draft was prepared in consultation with the stakeholders of the tripartite council that was formed for the garment sector in April, the minister said. Chunnu denied the allegation that Bangladesh is lagging behind in amending the labour law as per the commitment.
He also denied the allegations of the international rights groups that labour and union leaders were being harassed by police. “I have not heard any information regarding the harassment of labour leaders. I have been holding meetings with labour leaders frequently on different issues. Nobody complained, the minister said.
The development comes as the European Union has long been urging Bangladesh to show tangible progress on labour rights to avoid losing the generalised system of preferences (GSP) benefit that allows the country duty-free export to the 28-nation bloc.
Meanwhile, a coalition of labour organisations yesterday called on the European Commission to launch an investigation into the Bangladesh government’s failure to make necessary reforms to protect workers’ rights.
The abuses in the report show that the government is in violation of the sustainability compact it signed with the European Union in August 2013 committing to responsible business behaviour and ensuring workplace safety.
“The government of Bangladesh is consistently failing to meet its obligations under international law to protect workers’ rights,” said Sharan Burrow, general secretary to the International Trade Union Confederation.
Subsequently, in light of the new evidence, the trade unions and labour organisations are renewing their calls to the European Commission to make good on its promise to launch a trade investigation into Bangladesh.
EU is Bangladesh’s largest trade partner and its action could spur significant change in the country, the letter said.
On behalf of the European Trade Union Confederation, Confederal Secretary Liina Carr stated: “We call the European Commission to be consistent with its “Trade for all” agenda to promote the respect of labour rights around the world.” So if the government si not enough careful, the amendment may not be enough to end the misgivings.


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UKBCCI Business and Entrepreneur Excellence Award-2017 held in London

Business Reporter

CHAIRMAN and CEO of Transcom Group Latifur Rahman was honored with the UKBCCI Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution in the industry. He cited Bangladesh as a foreign investment friendly country and called upon the young entrepreneurs of Britain to engage in deeper collaboration with the Bangladeshi business community.
The UKBCCI Business and Entrepreneur Excellence Awards-2017 was held in London Hilton for the second time .  As recognition of success, awards were given to the British Bangladeshi Business Entrepreneurs for their individual excellence in 12 different categories.
In addition, UKBCCI Special Recognition Award was conferred to first Bangladeshi born British MP Rushnara Ali and Directors’ Choice Award to Muai Thai Kick Boxing Champion Ruqsana Begum, besides other recognitions including Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Inspirational Business Leader of the Year.
UKBCCI President Bajloor Rashid, MBE made the welcome speech on the occasion that was anchored by BBC journalist and presenter Jenny Bond. In his speech Bajloor called this award giving ceremony as a bridge and communication media between the business communities of the United Kingdom and Bangladesh
Chairman of UKBCCI Iqbal Ahmed, OBE, DBE said, they were committed to build up a bridge between Bangladesh and the UK besides creating opportunities for the community, especially the new generation. He also urged for the transfer of Visa center from Delhi to Dhaka and said, statistics show that percentage of visa approval has reduced by 70 percent over this period. This is great loss not only to the visa applicants but also to the growth of British economy.
George Freeman, Chair of the Policy Board of the British Government as Chief Guest on the occasion said, we need more and more businessmen for the expansion of our economy and there is no alternative for the entrepreneurs. Mentioning the post-Brexit policy of the government he said, it is seriously considering the opinion of the 52 percent voters that opined on getting out of the European Community. Naturally, the British government is always keen on developing and maintaining a healthy relation with Bangladesh, he added.
The guest list included among other Bangladeshi High Commissioner in Britain His Excellency Mohammad Najmul Kownyne, Bethnal and Bow MP Rushnara Ali MP, Ann Mein MP, Paul Sculli MP, Face Market CEO Dr. Joe Mundich, Lord Karan Billmoria, Chairman of Rangs Properties Rouf Chowdhury, BCA President Kamal Yakub and many others.

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Business Reporter

CHAIRMAN and CEO of Transcom Group Latifur Rahman was honored with the UKBCCI Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution in the industry. He cited Bangladesh as a foreign investment friendly country and called upon the young entrepreneurs of Britain to engage in deeper collaboration with the Bangladeshi business community.
The UKBCCI Business and Entrepreneur Excellence Awards-2017 was held in London Hilton for the second time .  As recognition of success, awards were given to the British Bangladeshi Business Entrepreneurs for their individual excellence in 12 different categories.
In addition, UKBCCI Special Recognition Award was conferred to first Bangladeshi born British MP Rushnara Ali and Directors’ Choice Award to Muai Thai Kick Boxing Champion Ruqsana Begum, besides other recognitions including Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Inspirational Business Leader of the Year.
UKBCCI President Bajloor Rashid, MBE made the welcome speech on the occasion that was anchored by BBC journalist and presenter Jenny Bond. In his speech Bajloor called this award giving ceremony as a bridge and communication media between the business communities of the United Kingdom and Bangladesh
Chairman of UKBCCI Iqbal Ahmed, OBE, DBE said, they were committed to build up a bridge between Bangladesh and the UK besides creating opportunities for the community, especially the new generation. He also urged for the transfer of Visa center from Delhi to Dhaka and said, statistics show that percentage of visa approval has reduced by 70 percent over this period. This is great loss not only to the visa applicants but also to the growth of British economy.
George Freeman, Chair of the Policy Board of the British Government as Chief Guest on the occasion said, we need more and more businessmen for the expansion of our economy and there is no alternative for the entrepreneurs. Mentioning the post-Brexit policy of the government he said, it is seriously considering the opinion of the 52 percent voters that opined on getting out of the European Community. Naturally, the British government is always keen on developing and maintaining a healthy relation with Bangladesh, he added.
The guest list included among other Bangladeshi High Commissioner in Britain His Excellency Mohammad Najmul Kownyne, Bethnal and Bow MP Rushnara Ali MP, Ann Mein MP, Paul Sculli MP, Face Market CEO Dr. Joe Mundich, Lord Karan Billmoria, Chairman of Rangs Properties Rouf Chowdhury, BCA President Kamal Yakub and many others.


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More rice imports on way to beef up stock

Business Report

The government is set to import 1 lakh tonnes of parboiled rice from neighbouring India under a state-to-state arrangement as part of its aggressive push to boost stocks.
The development comes after the cabinet committees on economic affairs and purchase yesterday approved the proposal for import of rice for $455 per tonne — $15 less than what the government paid to bring in the food grain from Vietnam earlier.
This comes after the committees last week approved the import of 1 lakh tonne of white rice from Myanmar for $442 per tonne under a similar arrangement.
Earlier in June, the government imported 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice for $470 per tonne from Vietnam under a government-to-government arrangement.
Another 1.5 lakh tonnes of rice will soon be brought in from Thailand for $465 per tonne, said food ministry officials.
In recent months, the government has moved to import rice through competitive bidding, which tends to be lower than the price obtained under government-to-government arrangements.
For instance, last week, 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice was imported through competitive bidding — for $427 per tonne.
Under state-to-state arrangement rice price is usually higher. But the government opts for such arrangement as the supply is ensured and the quality is also better.

Comment

Business Report

The government is set to import 1 lakh tonnes of parboiled rice from neighbouring India under a state-to-state arrangement as part of its aggressive push to boost stocks.
The development comes after the cabinet committees on economic affairs and purchase yesterday approved the proposal for import of rice for $455 per tonne — $15 less than what the government paid to bring in the food grain from Vietnam earlier.
This comes after the committees last week approved the import of 1 lakh tonne of white rice from Myanmar for $442 per tonne under a similar arrangement.
Earlier in June, the government imported 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice for $470 per tonne from Vietnam under a government-to-government arrangement.
Another 1.5 lakh tonnes of rice will soon be brought in from Thailand for $465 per tonne, said food ministry officials.
In recent months, the government has moved to import rice through competitive bidding, which tends to be lower than the price obtained under government-to-government arrangements.
For instance, last week, 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice was imported through competitive bidding — for $427 per tonne.
Under state-to-state arrangement rice price is usually higher. But the government opts for such arrangement as the supply is ensured and the quality is also better.


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BRAC Bank donates to PM’s Relief Fund to help Rohingyas

Business Report

BRAC Bank Limited made a contribution of Tk. 5 crore to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund to help the Rohingya refugees under the initiative of Bangladesh Association of Banks.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is seen in the group photograph along with S. N. Kairy, Director, (standing 4th from right) and Selim R. F. Hussain, Managing Director & CEO, (standing 3rd from right) of BRAC Bank with other senior officials of the member banks at a ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office in Dhaka recently.

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Business Report

BRAC Bank Limited made a contribution of Tk. 5 crore to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund to help the Rohingya refugees under the initiative of Bangladesh Association of Banks.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is seen in the group photograph along with S. N. Kairy, Director, (standing 4th from right) and Selim R. F. Hussain, Managing Director & CEO, (standing 3rd from right) of BRAC Bank with other senior officials of the member banks at a ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office in Dhaka recently.


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BGIC observed 12th death anniversary of M A Samad

Business Report

Bangladesh General Insurance Company Ltd. (BGIC) observed the 12th death anniversary of M A Samad, an insurance legend and founder of the company Earlier he was Managing Director of Jiban Bima Corporation aand on retirement established BGIC, the first Insurance Company in private sector in independent Bangladesh.
He was also the founder Director of Bangladesh Insurance Academy and former Chairman of Bangladesh Insurance Association. M A Samad wrote two books in Bengali: one on life insurance and another on general insurance.
He also wrote two textbooks in English on life insurance. Being a legend of life insurance sector, he contributed a lot for the development of general insurance through his merits & intellects.
He was an enlisted international expert in the Technical Assistance Program on Trade and Development of the United Nations. M A Samad visited most of the insurance training institutions in the UK and USA under UNDP fellowship program.
He was born at Kulaura of Moulvibazar district in January 1, 1923, said a press release.

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Business Report

Bangladesh General Insurance Company Ltd. (BGIC) observed the 12th death anniversary of M A Samad, an insurance legend and founder of the company Earlier he was Managing Director of Jiban Bima Corporation aand on retirement established BGIC, the first Insurance Company in private sector in independent Bangladesh.
He was also the founder Director of Bangladesh Insurance Academy and former Chairman of Bangladesh Insurance Association. M A Samad wrote two books in Bengali: one on life insurance and another on general insurance.
He also wrote two textbooks in English on life insurance. Being a legend of life insurance sector, he contributed a lot for the development of general insurance through his merits & intellects.
He was an enlisted international expert in the Technical Assistance Program on Trade and Development of the United Nations. M A Samad visited most of the insurance training institutions in the UK and USA under UNDP fellowship program.
He was born at Kulaura of Moulvibazar district in January 1, 1923, said a press release.


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MTB inaugurates Agent Banking Centre at Naogaon

Business Report

Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTB) opened its Agent Banking Centre at Badalgachi, Naogaon. Assistant Commissioner (Land), Badalgachi Upazila, Naogaon, Shujit Debnath inaugurated the Centre as Chief Guest through a formal inauguration ceremony.
Group Chief Communication Officer, Azam Khan, Head of  Agent Banking, Madan Mahan Karmoker, Managers of MTB Bogra Branch, MTB Naogaon Branch and MTB Joypurhat Branch, Md. Ifthakhar Hassan, Md. Anowar Hossain and Muhammad Shah Jalal Sarker respectively, local elite, leaders of local business associations, people from different strata and other senior officials of the bank also attended the program.

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Business Report

Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTB) opened its Agent Banking Centre at Badalgachi, Naogaon. Assistant Commissioner (Land), Badalgachi Upazila, Naogaon, Shujit Debnath inaugurated the Centre as Chief Guest through a formal inauguration ceremony.
Group Chief Communication Officer, Azam Khan, Head of  Agent Banking, Madan Mahan Karmoker, Managers of MTB Bogra Branch, MTB Naogaon Branch and MTB Joypurhat Branch, Md. Ifthakhar Hassan, Md. Anowar Hossain and Muhammad Shah Jalal Sarker respectively, local elite, leaders of local business associations, people from different strata and other senior officials of the bank also attended the program.


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Risk Management Committee meeting of SIBL held

Business Report

The 23rd meeting of the Risk Management Committee (RMC) of the Board of Directors of Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited was held recently at the Head Office of the Bank. The meeting was presided over by the Chairman of Risk Management Committee (RMC) and Director of the Bank Mr. Mohammad Younus.
Among others the Vice-Chairman & Directors of the Bank Mr. Khandaker Sakib Ahmed, the Managing Director Mr. Farman R Chowdhury, the Additional Managing Director Mr. M. Shahidul Islam and the Deputy Managing Director Mr. Md. Shahjahan Shiraj were present in the meeting, said a press release.

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Business Report

The 23rd meeting of the Risk Management Committee (RMC) of the Board of Directors of Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited was held recently at the Head Office of the Bank. The meeting was presided over by the Chairman of Risk Management Committee (RMC) and Director of the Bank Mr. Mohammad Younus.
Among others the Vice-Chairman & Directors of the Bank Mr. Khandaker Sakib Ahmed, the Managing Director Mr. Farman R Chowdhury, the Additional Managing Director Mr. M. Shahidul Islam and the Deputy Managing Director Mr. Md. Shahjahan Shiraj were present in the meeting, said a press release.


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Islami Bank IDB Bhaban branch relocated

Business Report

Islami Bank branch located in IDB Bhaban has been renamed and relocated as Agargaon Branch at 23, Lions Bhaban at Begum Rokeya Soroni on October 15. Bank’s Chairman Arastoo Khan was present in the program as Chief Guest.
Presided Over by Md. Abdul Hamid Miah, Managing Director and CEO of the Bank the function was attended as Special Guests by Helal Ahmed Chowdhury and Md. Joynal Abedin, Directors,
Md. Mahbub-ul-Alam, Additional Managing Director of IBBL and Lion Ashraful Habib Firoz, Secretary General of Lions Foundation. Mohammed Monirul Moula and Abu Reza Md. Yeahia, Deputy Managing Directors, Md. Mosharraf Hossain and Zafar Alam, Executive Vice Presidents of the Bank were also present on the occasion.
Md. Yeanur Rahman, Executive Vice President and head of Dhaka South Zone addressed the welcome speech while Md. Zillur Rahman Al Mahmud, Senior Vice President and Head of the Branch addressed vote of thanks. Businesspersons, Customers and local elites attended the program, said a press release.

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Business Report

Islami Bank branch located in IDB Bhaban has been renamed and relocated as Agargaon Branch at 23, Lions Bhaban at Begum Rokeya Soroni on October 15. Bank’s Chairman Arastoo Khan was present in the program as Chief Guest.
Presided Over by Md. Abdul Hamid Miah, Managing Director and CEO of the Bank the function was attended as Special Guests by Helal Ahmed Chowdhury and Md. Joynal Abedin, Directors,
Md. Mahbub-ul-Alam, Additional Managing Director of IBBL and Lion Ashraful Habib Firoz, Secretary General of Lions Foundation. Mohammed Monirul Moula and Abu Reza Md. Yeahia, Deputy Managing Directors, Md. Mosharraf Hossain and Zafar Alam, Executive Vice Presidents of the Bank were also present on the occasion.
Md. Yeanur Rahman, Executive Vice President and head of Dhaka South Zone addressed the welcome speech while Md. Zillur Rahman Al Mahmud, Senior Vice President and Head of the Branch addressed vote of thanks. Businesspersons, Customers and local elites attended the program, said a press release.


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