The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a civil society think tank, on Tuesday suggested that the minimum wage for the garment workers be set at Tk 8,200.
CPD additional research director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem came up with the suggestion while revealing the findings of a study on minimum wage in the RMG sector at a dialogue in the capital.
The CPD organized the dialogue, titled ‘Minimum Wage for the RMG Sector: Analysis and Proposal’ at Cirdap auditorium.
Conducting the study on RMG workers in Savar, Tongi and Rampura in the city, the CPD estimated a revised minimum wage using three separate methodologies - poverty line data from national statistics, actual worker income and expenditure and a living wage based on aspirational model diet.
The minimum wage for entry-level workers is proposed Tk 6,445 at the poverty line, Tk 8,200 at actual worker expenditure and Tk 17,800 based on aspirational model diet.
Dr Golam Moazzem said since the minimum wage should not be higher national average wage level, the CDP does not recommend the aspirational figure based on a diet model at this time.
“However, we would like to say that workers income needs to be increased sufficiently to ensure maintaining healthy and living for their families…since a minimum wage should be higher than the poverty line, we recommended a minimum wage for grade 7 workers be set at least Tk 8,200,” he said.
Taking into consideration the limitations of the different categories of the garment factories, the CPD study suggested determining 80 percent of announced minimum wage for the first year which will be about Tk 6,560. “The rest 20 percent could be provided in the second year after inflationary adjustment,” it says.
Chaired by CPD executive director Prof Mustafizur Rahman, the dialogue was addressed, among others, by chairman of parliamentary standing committee on the Ministry of Labour and Employment M Israfil Alam, MP, executive director of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) Ambassador Nazrul Islam Khan, director of Bangladesh Garment Manufactures & Exporters Association (BGMEA) Arshad Jamal and Bangladesh Garments Sromik kormochari League Sirajul Islam Rony.