The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of ‘The Standards of Weights and Measures Bill, 2017’, raising the amount of fine for cheating in weight and measurement, Agencies report.
The approval was given at the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at the Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said the draft law has been formulated to improve the existing weight and measurement system to international standards.
About the crimes and punishment under the proposed law, the Cabinet Secretary said without prior approval of the government, any one using non-standard weights will be awarded maximum six months of jail or maximum Tk 20,000 fine instead of six months of jail or Tk 3,000 fine in the existing law.
Besides, there is a provision in the draft law to award one year jail term or fine Tk one lakh for non-standard weights and measurements.
Shafiul Alam said anyone to be involved in changing the working standards of the weights and measures will be awarded maximum two years of imprisonment or fined Tk 50,000.
“Apart from this, a provision is also there for maximum one year of imprisonment or Tk 50,000 as fine for producing non-standard weights and measures for the purpose of export,” he added.
For the purpose, the original Standard of Weights and Measures Ordinance 1982 has been translated into Bangla and modified through incorporating the issues related with the international organisations such as Asia Pacific Meteorology Programme (APMP), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electro-technical Commission (IEC).
Besides, the issues related to Codex Alimentarius Commission, South Asia Regional Standards Organisation (SARSO), International Bureau of Weights and Measures and the International Organisation of Legal Meteorology were also incorporated in the draft law.
The Cabinet also gave the final approval to the draft of ‘The Bangladesh Industrial Institutions Nationalization Bill, 2017’ bringing some changes in the President’s Order No-16 of 1972 to make it more time-befitting one.
The Cabinet Secretary said different organisations like Petrobangla have been excluded from the jurisdiction of the law as these are already under the ministries concerned.
Besides, how much would be the amount of authorised capital of various corporations, including Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, would remain under the jurisdiction of the government.
Applicability of the Companies Act has been re-defined in the draft law, Shafiul Alam said adding that provisions of handing over industrial institutions to the government as well as of giving compensations for their nationalisation have been dropped.
The Cabinet Secretary said, under the Presidential order in 1972, some 270 industries were nationalised while the number of present nationalised industries are 109.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet also endorsed in principle the draft of ‘The Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation, Bill, 2017 translating the original law of 1961 into Bangla and dropping its unnecessary terms and provisions.
At the very outset of the meeting, the Cabinet also adopted two obituary references expressing deep shock at the death of Bangladesh Ambassador to Brazil and former foreign secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes and Engineer Ariful Haq, younger brother of Law Minister Anisul Huq, who had been serving free of cost as a consultant in many big projects like Padma Multipurpose Bridge of the country.
Ministers, State Ministers and secretaries concerned were present.