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Bangladesh factory owners demand tax incentives to tide over wage hike

Leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) have urged the government to give tax or cash incentives as the wage of the workers would be raised.

The leaders claimed any increase in the workers’ wages on top of the amount suggested by the owners’ representative to the wage board would be a threat to the survival of the country’s readymade garment sector. BGMEA recently proposed Tk 6,360 as minimum wage. Labour rights groups are demanding Tk 16,000 as the minimum wage while workers’ representative to the wage board, Shamsunnahar Bhuiyan, a ruling party-backed labour leader, proposed Tk 12,020 as the minimum wage. BGMEA president Siddiqur Rahman will negotiate with the government to protect the interest of factory owners. He was apprehensive that the wage hike would increase cost of doing business.