The schedule for the election of the executive committee of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is set to be announced next month as the tenure of the current board will end on April 22. “We will declare the schedule on time,” said Siddiqur Rahman, president of the association.
He took the helm for two years in September 2015. However, the term of the current committee was extended thrice through circulars from the commerce ministry, with the latest one coming last week.
As per rules, the BGMEA will have to form an electoral board 90 days before the end of a term and declare the schedule 80 days before the term expires.
This means, the BGMEA will have to announce the election board and the schedule in the first week of January.
“I hope the BGMEA will announce the election board and the schedule very soon as we are waiting for a new committee,” said Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez, a former BGMEA president and a leader of the Forum Panel.
Usually, the general members of the BGMEA vote to elect the leaders of the garment sector's apex trade body. But, in 2015, no election took place, after the two panels -- Sammilito Parishad and Forum -- had announced their nominees. But later, the Forum nominees pulled out, leaving the Sammilito Parishad's presidential candidate victorious by default.
Since the Sammilito Parishad is currently leading the BGMEA, it is now Forum's turn to preside over the trade body.
Currently, Rubana Huq, managing director of Mohammadi Group, is leading the Forum Panel and may become the first woman president of the association if the current understanding continues. Rahman said some important decisions were taken during his time at the BGMEA, which has more than 4,500 voters. Some incidents of unrest were controlled peacefully, he said.
The construction of a new BGMEA headquarters in Uttara is underway and the association is expected to move to the new building soon.
The association has turned into an important trade body over the years and is contributing hugely to the economy, as the garment sector accounts for more than 80 percent of the national exports.
Last fiscal year, the members of the BGMEA exported garment items worth $30.61 billion, registering 8.76 percent year-on-year growth, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.