Rejecting the TIB findings on garment supply chain, apparel makers yesterday said the report of Transparency International Bangladesh is baseless and it intends to damage the sector's image.
Siddiqur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, strongly protested the TIB report at a hurriedly called press conference at the BGMEA office in the capital.
On Thursday, the TIB released a report that said the supply chain of the garment industry, the country's biggest export earner, is plagued by irregularities and corruption for which international apparel buyers are also responsible.
At yesterday's press conference, Rahman, top leader of the garment makers' platform, said, “This report is baseless, false and intentional. It has an ill motive.
"We urge all concerned to investigate how the TIB dared say anything like this.
"Such a statement about this important sector by any quarter is unacceptable," said Rahman.
He refuted the allegation made in the TIB report that local garment makers sell imported fabrics in the domestic market.
On another allegation that local suppliers sometimes give sub-contracts to non-compliant factories, he said garment makers enter into sub-contracts with the buyers' permission. "If the buyers allow this, it is not an offence."
Rahman said the TIB came up with such findings at a moment when garment makers are trying to achieve the apparel export target of $50 billion by the end of 2021.
"We did not expect such a report from the TIB at a time when the garment sector is reviving after twin industrial disasters -- Tazreen Fashions fire and Rana Plaza building collapse," he said.
In its report, the TIB mentioned that it had detected anomalies at 16 stages -- from order placement to shipment -- in apparel supply chain.
According to the anti-corruption watchdog, irregularities and corruption at different stages of the chain have become almost a custom in some cases. And various stakeholders, including factory owners, buyers, auditors and inspectors, are involved in it.
"We are habituated to blaming our factory owners, exporters and government employees. But buyers, who are buying and making profits, are no less responsible for irregularities," TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said at a press conference at the TIB head office in the capital on Thursday.