Building on what has been achieved so far, the government and the private sector have committed to working together to solve the challenges in ensuring all garment factories pay their workers digitally. The decision came from the Bangladesh Digital Wages Summit, which convened on 20 November in Dhaka.
The summit was jointly held by the Access to Information (a2i) Programme of the ICT Division, supported by the Cabinet Division, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations-based Better than Cash Alliance. The summit was also co-organized by Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
The summit started with an opening panel discussion named “Scaling digital wages for employees and manufacturers.” Key panelists included Hon’ble Minister for the Ministry of Industries Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, MP; Hon’ble State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP; Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank Ahmed Jamal; President of BGMEA Dr. Rubana Huq; Managing Director of the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen; Resident Representative of UNDP Sudipto Mukerjee; ILO Country Director and UN Representative Tuomo Poutiainen; and the Bangladesh Country Manager for Marks & Spencer Shwapna Bhowmick. The opening panel discussion was moderated by the Policy Advisor of a2i, Anir Chowdhury.
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, MP said, “We are committed to supporting the ready-made-garments sector to leverage new technologies that will improve the lives of garment workers. These efforts will, in turn, improve our country’s economic growth.”
ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP said, “We are dedicating our services to coordinate, support and test innovative solutions to digitize payroll in order to empower garment workers, particularly women.”
Managing Director of the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance, Dr. Ruth Goodwin-Groen said, “We are committing to help bring together the key public and private sector stakeholders who can take wage digitization in Bangladesh to the next level.”
President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Dr. Rubana Huq, said, “Through digitizing wages, we are pledging to further promote financial benefits, such as cashback, reward points and merchant discounts, to increase the value of wages.”