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Corporation, a local body that has lower building standards than Dhaka’s development authority, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha. However the permit issued was for 5 floors, not the 8 stories eventually constructed. Mr Rana and factory

owners in the building, several of whom have also been arrested, are by no means isolated ‘bad apples’. About half of Bangladesh’s garment factories don’t meet legal work safety standards, according to Kalpona Akter, executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity. There is a clear

need for a change. All politicians must stop protecting and harbouring so-called political leaders - who are in reality gang leaders - companies and their owners if they are doing wrong

just because they are supporters of their party. When their party is ruling Bangladesh, these individuals become almost the local godfather. The police and regulators must be able to act independently without fear of reprisals from political masters. There has to be a proper planning system to ensure that buildings are correctly designed and fit for the purpose. In addition a system for employers and public liability insurance has to be put in place. The tragedy has

done real harm to the image of Bangladesh in the eyes of the world, and it will take some time for the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ brand - which the government

has made a lot of effort to promote - to recover. Customer confidence will be affected and that will hurt the economy. Bangladeshi

restaurant owners across the UK feel badly let down. Many of them have worked hard to build up the image of a better Bangladesh. Often they have taken investors to the country to introduce them to opportunities and now these efforts appear tarnished.

Neither the

government nor the opposition are helping the situation. They both behave in the same way and put their own political fortunes above the wellbeing of workers. Spice Business hopes that lessons will be learned

from the disaster and that the Bangladeshi government will take the necessary action to ensure that garment factories, whoever they are controlled by, operate in full compliance with the rules. If necessary there need to be changes to the law to make sure that this does not happen again. Bangladesh has earned respect from the world for its quality garments and Spice Business urges all Bangladeshis to help rebuild the country’s image. The country must learn from this disaster and suggest necessary changes to the authorities to ensure the future of the all- important garments industry. n



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