Annoyed PM orders shutdown of RMG factories
Strictly implement govt directives to maintain social distancing, she tells law enforcers
Published : Tuesday, 7 April, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 255
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday expressed her annoyance over the country's readymade garment (RMG) industry owners for not complying with the government decision by keeping their factories shut to contain the deadly coronavirus pandemic across the country.
She asked the ministers and officials concerned to ensure closure of the apparel factories not involved in producing personal protective equipment (PPE) and masks.
The instructions were given in the regular meeting of the Cabinet held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her official residence Ganobhaban in Dhaka.
A senior minister who attended Monday's meeting held after three weeks told this correspondent that at the very beginning of the meeting, the Premier herself raised the issue.
Preferring anonymity, the source said the
PM inquired to Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and State Minister for Labour and Employment Monnujan Sufian about the apparel industry owner's initiatives and putting pressure on the workers to reopen their factories amidst the fear of spreading coronavirus across the country.
"Violating the government decision and putting the lives of thousands of workers at risk, how can they take such steps? The government has given the owners lots of facilities earlier and still giving incentives for survival. They must comply with the government decision and health directives of the authorities to combat the crisis and save the valuable lives of the people," she said.
When asked, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told this correspondent there is no new directive. The authorities concerned have been working duly.
"The areas, where number of contamination is high, are being locked down. Wherever the patients will be found, the areas will be locked down following the directives of the World Health Organisation," he added.
The Cabinet also directed the administration and law enforcement agencies to implement the government directives on social distancing in a strict manner to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country.
"Law enforcement agencies and the administration have been directed to take measures for stricter implementation of the directives to maintain social distancing. They've also been asked to simultaneously conduct massive campaign in rural areas," said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam at a press briefing after the Cabinet meeting.
Anwarul said since the coronavirus situation has worsened to some extent in the country, it will in no way be possible to keep the situation under control without the wholehearted support from people. "So, the Cabinet has repeatedly urged people to maintain social distancing and quarantine. Or else, it'll in no way be possible to control it," he added.
He said no devotee from distance should go to mosques to say prayers. "Imams and Moazzins as well as several nearby persons are there who can go to mosques," he further said.
About readymade garment (RMG) factories, the Cabinet secretary said a unified action plan would be taken in this regard.