Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The apparel manufacturers’ body has decided to suspend membership of the factories and stop other services to them, if they fail to report on their buildings to the association by next month.
The decision was taken at an emergency general meeting of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), held at its headquarters in the capital Dhaka on Saturday with its President Atiqul Islam in the chair.
Under the decision, the factory owners will have to submit the reports mentioning their structural design along with the load bearing capacity of the buildings by the deadline. 
“We’ve asked all our members to report on their factory buildings, aided by recognized structural designer or design firms, to BGMEA and BKMEA by May,” SM Mannan Kochi, vice president of the BGMEA told reporters after the meeting.
He also said they will re-examine the reports and if they find any deviation, “we’ll suspend their membership and also stop providing any service to them.” 
The BGMEA also asked all the member units to install their generators on the ground floor, not on any upper floor, for the sake of safety, he added.
The EGM also decided that each and every member would contribute at least BDT 25,000 within seven days for creating a fund for the victim workers of the four factories located at Rana Plaza, which collapsed Wednesday, he said.
The BKMEA already donated Tk 10 million in assistance of the Savar victims.
“We are working to form a disaster relief fund for any future crisis management,” he said. The meeting also decided to form area-based committees with the representatives from both owners and workers to bring discipline in the industry, he said.
Two owners of the Rana Plaza RMG units surrendered Saturday and the two others might follow the suit soon, he told the presss. 
A member present in the EGM said about BDT 220-250 million would be required for paying off the wages, compensation and rehabilitation of the Savar victims as per law.
“The required disaster relief fund has been initially estimated at BDT 500 million, which has been proposed to be collected through adding an additional fee with the existing UD fee,” he said adding that it was yet to be finalized. Another discussion session would be held later in this connection.
“The Savar tragedy is the biggest ever industrial tragedy and it requires a large sum of money for treatment, compensation and rehabilitation of the victims,” BGMEA former president Abdus Salam Murshedy said assuring that the association would do all needed for the victims.
“This is the highest industrial tragedy, we are now struggling to survive and both the country and the sector are facing a severe image crisis,” he added.
BBN/SSR/AD-28Apr13-1:06 pm (BST)