The ILO-managed Rana Plaza Trust Fund will finally start its disbursement of compensation in two weeks.
Some 332 victims will receive the first instalment of their compensation within the next two weeks, Srinivasa Reddy, country direction of the International Labour Organisation, told The Daily Star.
The pay-out has been delayed for the failure of many international retailers to put in their committed amounts into the trust fund by April 24, the first anniversary of the industrial accident that claimed 1,138 lives and injured thousands, he said.
So far, $17.9 million has been collected against the requirement of $40 million to adequately compensate the victims.
Subsequently, the Rana Plaza Coordination Committee in a meeting on August 14 resolved to write to the retailers, asking them to release the funds in good time for completion of the compensation process by the end of October.
Retailers that are yet to make contributions are: Adler Modemärkte, Grabalok, Ascena Retail, Iconix (Lee Cooper), NKD, Auchan, JC Penney, PWT (Texman), Benetton, KANZ/Kids Fashion Group, Robe di Kappa, Carrefour, LC Waikiki, Yes Zee, Cato Fashions and Manifattura Corona. Bonmarche, C&A Foundation, Loblaw, BRAC USA, The Children's Place, Walmart, Asda and the Walmart Foundation, Camaieu, El Corte Ingles, Gueldenpfennig, H&M, Inditex, KiK, LPP SA, Mango, Mascot and Premier Clothing have already contributed to the trust fund, according to Clean Clothes Campaign, a rights group.
Brands such as N Brown Group, VF Corporation, Gap, H&M Conscious Foundation, Debenhams and Zebra Fashion have made contributions even though they did not source from any of the factories housed in Rana Plaza. Primark has made a significant contribution, of around $7 million.
Reddy said the Rana Plaza Claims Administration has already completed the list of recipients for compensation.
Earlier in April, the victims and dependents of the deceased were given Tk 50,000 each to help them get by for now and open bank accounts, which exhausted $2 million from the $17.9 million fund.
Mikail Shipar, labour secretary, said: “The retailers made their commitments but now they are not following through.” Meanwhile, many dependents of the deceased complained that they were not included in the compensation lists yet.
Take, for instance, Akkas Mia, who lost his daughter-in-law in the tragic event. She left behind a husband and a son, both of whom are now residing with Mia.
He said his daughter-in-law's name has not been put in the compensation list.
So far, he has received Tk 45,000 from Primark, Tk 20,000 from a nongovernmental organisation and an autorickshaw; and 21 days after the incident, the deceased's mother received Tk 1 lakh from the prime minister's relief fund.
The PM's fund released Tk 22 crore for the victims.
“I have rushed to so many places to put my daughter-in-law's name on the list, but no-one is taking my concern seriously. I am bearing all expenses of my grandson after his mother's death.”
A dead victim's family will receive Tk 29 lakh and a permanently disabled person Tk 42 lakh as compensation, according to an estimate of IndustriALL Global Union and ILO.