Cabinet okays Mongla Port Authority Act

The Cabinet on Monday approved in principle the draft of “The Mongla Port Authority Act, 2019” enhancing fine and jail term for environment pollution at a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The new act proposes to enhance existing fine of Taka 50,000 to Taka 5 lakh and also inflict one-year jail to persons at fault, BSS reports.

“The cabinet in principle approved the draft of The Mongla Port Authority Act, 2019 by replacing The Chalna Port Authority Ordinance, 1976 making some additions, adjustments and rearrangements of the laws,” Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told a news briefing at the secretariat here after the meeting at PMO.

The Mongla, which was earlier known as Chalna, was renamed as Mongla in 1987 and the port had so far been running under The Chalna Port Authority Ordinance, 1976, he said.

Definition of the inland vessels has been incorporated into the new law adding few more terms such as lease, terminal, berth and container freight station to it. Moreover, the new law proposes incorporation of some sections and changes as well into it, he said.

Under the proposed law one would now face jail term up to one year and Taka five lakh fine instead of existing Taka 50,000 for polluting environment, he said.

The new law suggested enhancement of jail term up to two years from existing six months and Taka 2 lakh fine from existing Taka 50,000 for violating the law.

It also recommended for six months imprisonment and Taka 2 lakh fine from the existing six months and Taka 50,000 respectively on charges of evading tolls, he said.

Trial of the offences committed under the law will be held in accordance with the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code), he added.

Simultaneously, Shafiul said, in the proposed law there will be a board of seven members instead of four to run the port, he said.

Two new sections, one with provision of ‘restricted port area’ and the rest for appointing operator, have been added to the law, he informed.

The cabinet also approved the draft of two policies– Neuro-Developmental Disabilities (NDD) Related Integrated/Special Education Policy 2019 and Non Neuro-Developmental Disabilities Related Integrated/Special Education Policy 2019 by incorporating a set of guidelines.

“In line with the policies none can establish educational institutions for the disabled people without prior permission of the government. If anyone violates the policies he or she will be liable for punishment,” the cabinet secretary said.

The policy suggested having at least 75 students for approval of setting up an educational institution for the disabled, he said. It should be ensured that there’ll be a teacher against each five autistic students in such institutions, he said.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Prime Minister unveiled a book of poetry titled “Swapno Panshi” written by Science and Technology Minister Yafes Osman.

Besides, the cabinet approved in principle the draft of ‘The Chandpur Science and Technology University Act, 2019.

The cabinet also approved two separate proposals to form a company titled “Start Up Bangladesh Limited” under Bangladesh Computer Council to create more entrepreneurs in the country’s ICT sector and a joint venture company titled “Bangladesh Power Equipment Manufacturing Company Limited” in partnership with the state-run Rural Power Company Limited and Chinese private company Shenzhen Star Instrument Company Ltd.

Besides, the cabinet was apprised of the official bilateral visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to China from July 1 to 6.