Authorities also suspended the mayor of Savar, Mohammad Refatullah, for alleged negligence, said Abu Alam, a top official of the local government ministry.
Alam said an official investigation had found that the mayor ignored rules in approving the design and layout of the doomed building. The mayor is from the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which has criticized his suspension as politically motivated.
The government also effectively suspended Kabir Hossain Sardar, the top government administrator at Savar, following reports that he declared the building safe after inspecting the cracks a day before the collapse. Sardar had close links with Rana. Alam said the government was taking action against everyone involved with Rana and his building.
Rana was arrested earlier and is expected to be charged with negligence, illegal construction and forcing workers to join work, crimes punishable by a maximum of seven years in jail. Authorities have not said if more serious crimes will be added.
The Bangladesh High Court has ordered the government to confiscate Rana’s property and freeze the assets of the owners of the factories in Rana Plaza so the money can be used to pay the salaries of their workers.
The minimum wage for a garment worker is $38 a month, after being nearly doubled this year following violent protests by workers. According to the World Bank, the per capita income in Bangladesh was about $64 a month in 2011.
Among the garment makers in the building were Phantom Apparels, Phantom Tac, Ether Tex, New Wave Style and New Wave Bottoms.
AP Videojournalist Archana Thiyagarajan in New Delhi contributed to this report.