Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The government has launched a website containing a database of the country’s garment sector in  line with the action plan for restoration of US generalised system of preference (GSP).

The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments under Labour and Employment ministry of Bangladesh, in cooperation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), has prepared the database.

State Minister for Labour and Employment M Mujibul Haque Chunnu inaugurated the website, www.dife.gov.bd, on Sunday aiming to provide different information relating to the number of workers and owners of 3,498 garment units across the country.

With the launching of the website, the Labour and Employment Ministry has fulfilled one of the two conditions for restoration of the GSP facilities, the state minister mentioned while launching the website.

The other condition of appointing 200 factory inspectors will be met within one week, Mr. Chunnu said, adding that some 43 inspectors have already been appointed.

As per the requirements of the GSP action plan set by the US as well as the requirement of Sustainable Compact of EU, the government has created the database for reporting labour, fire and building inspections as well as information on the factories and their locations.

The US government on June 27, 2013 suspended the GSP for Bangladesh due to an insufficient improvement in worker rights conditions.

The US on July 19 last year gave 16-point Bangladesh action Plan for reinstating GSP facilities for Bangladesh.

In the action plan, the US suggested that Bangladesh should ‘create a publicly accessible database/matrix of all RMG/knitwear factories as a platform for reporting labour, fire, and building inspections, including information on the factories and locations, violations identified, fines and sanctions administered, factories closed or relocated, violations remediated, and the names of the lead inspectors.’

In several meetings with foreign diplomats including US ambassador Dan W Mozena and EU ambassador William Hanna, government officials assured that they had taken an initiative to create the database in association with the ILO and it will be launched by March 31.

BBN/SSR-30Mar14-11:05 pm (BST)