Labour Ministry asks NBR for action against defaulter cos
Labour and employment ministry recommended the National Board of Revenue to provide the list of the names of companies that are not depositing their annual subscriptions to Bangladesh Labour Welfare Foundation
Zahid Hossain Biplob: The government has formed the labour welfare fund for the safety and security of the labourers but some listed companies deliberately are not depositing their annual subscription to the Bangladesh Labour Welfare Foundation fund, which is breach of conduct and threat to the security of labourers, said the sources.
Considering this, Labour and employment ministry recommended the National Board of Revenue to provide the list of the names of companies that are not depositing their annual subscriptions to Bangladesh Labour Welfare Foundation with a view to facilitating the industrial workers in the country.
The fund was formed to provide financial assistance to workers and their families and carry out other welfare activities.
The ministry took the step to bring the defaulter companies and other entities under the legal obligation of making contribution to the fund.
Secretary of the Labour Ministry K M Ali Azam, in a recent letter to NBR chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, made the request to identify the defaulter companies based on their income tax returns submitted to the tax authorities and provide the list to the foundation.
According to the Labour Act 2006, companies and other entities having paid-up capital minimum Tk 1.0 crore and the companies with permanent assets worth Tk 2.0 crore are supposed to deposit 0.5 per cent of their net profit to the fund.
Such a company, except 100 per cent export-oriented industries and companies with foreign investment, are also supposed to contribute 4 per cent of their net profit to workers participatory fund and 0.5 per cent to workers welfare fund maintained by the company.
But only 140 companies are currently contributing to the BLWF fund formed in 2010 under the ministry, officials said. The number of companies and other business entities that meet the criteria for the contribution would be several lakhs in the country, they said.
The deposit of the fund has now reached to around Tk 370 crore.
The foundation over the last few years distributed around Tk 30 crore to 9,009 workers, particularly to sick, injured and incapable, and to the families of workers killed in accidents.
Of the deposits, Tk 328 crore is kept in bank as FDR and the remaining money lies in regular bank account of the foundation.
In the last fiscal year 2018-2019 alone, the foundation provided grants worth Tk 15.16 lakh to 3,833 workers and their families.
There is another fund named ‘central fund’ in which export oriented RMG industries contributed 0.3 per cent of their net profit. The current deposit in the central fund is Tk 71.32 crore.
BLWF director general AMM Anisul Awwal on Thursday told Daily Industry that most of the companies were not complying with the provision of the law.
The foundation has been carrying out rigorous campaigns and other activities to motivate the owners so that they comply with the law and make regular contribution to the fund which is spent for welfare of workers.
‘We are trying to bring all eligible companies under the fund so that the foundation can provide financial assistance to more workers. We are not happy at all with the current situation,’ he said.
The foundation has also asked the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh to ensure that the companies keep the information related to the contribution to the fund in their audit reports.
It would also ask the trade bodies including Bangladesh Employers’ Federation to take steps so that their member companies participate to the fund, he said.
In this backdrop, Bangladesh Government has created the fund for workers, where companies deposit one tenth of their annual net profit, in line with the labour law. So far, more than 123 local, foreign and multinational companies have chipped in to create the fund.
The fund is being directed towards financial aid and benefit of workers engaged with the professional and non-professional sectors of the country.