They made this observation while visiting the Newage Group’s ready-made garment factory in Ashulia
Executive directors of the World Bank Group have expressed satisfaction over the ongoing process of wage digitisation in the apparel sector of Bangladesh, noting the major contribution of bKash.
They made this observation while visiting the Newage Group's ready-made garment factory in Ashulia. They also noted that the wage digitisation process is positively impacting women empowerment in the country.
The executive directors inspected the existing facilities for garment workers and bKash awareness sessions at ready-made garment factories on secure utilisation of mobile wallet, according to a press release.
They also interacted with the garment workers on the spot.
During the visit, an open dialogue session was also arranged, where the World Bank representatives exchanged their views with senior officials of bKash and Newage Group.
The objectives of the team's visit were to learn about the impact of World Bank's activities in the country and understand the challenges faced by a lower middle-income country like Bangladesh.
The executive directors also exchanged opinions with authorities, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders on partnerships with the World Bank.
For this purpose, they discussed with officials of the bKash and the Newage Group, partners of the International Finance Corporation, a WBG member.
Kamal Quadir, CEO of bKash, threw light on the overall payment system in Bangladesh and explained how wage digitisation is taking place in the country with the help of bKash – a key contributor in this field.
He said, "There is a gender gap in access to financial services in Bangladesh and services like bKash are making an impact in narrowing this gap.
"Given the economic significance of the country's ready-made garment sector, which is dominated by female workers, digitising wage payments through mobile financial services can have a significant impact on women's financial inclusion," he added.
Patrizio Pagano, executive director of the World Bank Group said, "We have seen massive changes in the ready-made garment sector of Bangladesh. Previously, factories used to pay through cash or banks, which was troublesome and time-consuming."
But now, the wage digitisation process is benefitting both the workers and the factory owners and bKash, with the largest digital distribution network in the country, is playing a major role to this end.
Asif Ibrahim, vice-chairman of Newage Group spoke about the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh and insisted on adopting wage digitisation as it decreases administration costs, attracts international buyers and improves production.
Currently, 3.5 lakh workers of 280 ready-made garment factories are getting their salaries through bKash, according to a statement released by the company.