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Cabinet clears law to hold Pourosova polls in every 5 yrs

Published : 05 Oct 2021 12:10 AM | Updated : 06 Oct 2021 12:03 PM

The Cabinet on Monday gave final approval to the Local Government (Pourosova ) (Amendment) Act, 2021 in a bid to stringently follow the system of holding election in every five years.

The approval came at a weekly Cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The premier joined the meeting virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban, while her cabinet colleagues at the meeting room of the cabinet division at the Secretariat.

Sometimes it was seen that at end of the tenure, some municipality  chairmen used to go to court and get restriction on holding next election, said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam while briefing reporters after the meeting.

By this way some chairmen remain in their chair more than five years even 15-16 years taking the advantage of a clause in the existing law that stated the present chairmen will remain in chair till holding the next election, he said.

He continued “To stop this practice the government made this amendment in the 2009 law.”

Read more: The caretaker government and election

The Cabinet Secretary revealed the proposed law saying that after the five-year completion the government will be able to appoint an administrator either from the government services or any other eligible person who has administrative experiences.

“The appointed administrator will be allowed to stay in the post for maximum six months and elections have to be held within this time,” he said.

The meeting also decided to make the eligibility for enlistment of any new municipality which have minimum 2000 people in per kilometer from the existing 1500 people in per kilometer.

It also decided to change the name of Pourosova Secretary to Pouro Executive Officer.

From the meeting, Khandker Anwarul Islam said, it was decided that the proposed law will include another clause that mentioned that if any municipality fails to pay salaries and other wages of its officers and employees for 12 months, the government can abolish its status as municipality.

The cabinet meeting also gave approval of the draft of Essential Services Act, 2021 integrating Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1952 and The Essential Services (Second Ordinance), 1958.

After passage of this proposed law, the Cabinet Secretary said, the government will be able to declare any service essential, when it will be necessary.

He said the essential services will be included post, telecommunications, internet service, ICT, digital services, mobile financial services, digital financial services, power generation and distribution related services, railways, passenger and goods transportation through water, road and air ways.

Khandker Anwarul Islam said the government can declare this essential status for maximum six months.

After the declaration, there will be no strike; shut off and lay off in that service.

Any breach of this law will be punishable and if any labour does that he or she will be fined stretching from TK 25,000 to TK 50,000 and six months imprisonment or both.

For the owner, the punishment is TK 100,000 maximum or one year imprisonment or both, he added.

 For illegal strike the punishment will be expulsion from the job, six months imprisonment or TK  25,000 fine or both.

Besides, if anyone instigates any person to breach the law that person will be fined TK 50,000 or one year imprisonment or both.

The cabinet also approved Chittagong Division Development Board Ordinance, 1976 (repeal) Act, 2021 which will abolish the existing law as per the directives of the court that said all laws enacted during the military regimes will be scrapped.

Cabinet Secretary said that the cabinet also discussed about the offers from some African countries including South Sudan to take lease agricultural land and produce agricultural products.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked Foreign Ministry, Agriculture Ministry and Commerce Ministry to look after the matter quickly and explore the opportunity, said Khandker Anwarul Islam.

Read more: Election fever grips N’ganj

He said that the premier also asked to find out more markets for country’s agricultural products.

In this connection, she mentioned that Scandinavian countries have welcomed Bangladesh’s vegetables, added the Cabinet Secretary.

The government has allotted two acres of land in Purbachal to Agriculture Ministry to establish an international standard laboratory to test and give certificates to the outgoing products of the country for expediting export.

The meeting also discussed about the delay of resuming classes of universities of the country.

Cabinet secretary said that the Education Minister informed the meeting that resumption of class in any university depends on the decision of its syndicate.

She also said that the delay in reopening academic activities in the universities might have been occurred due to the bad condition of student dormitories as those were under lock and key for more than one and a half years.  

She also said that the government has already announced two public examinations and those will be held in right time if the situation goes like the present condition or improved further.

“There will be no problem in holding examinations if there is no sudden deterioration in the situation,” the cabinet secretary said.

The Prime Minister also asked the Health Ministry to explore the technical side in providing vaccines to the people less than 18 years.

The cabinet also gave approval to ratify the article 29 of the forceful labour related ILO convention 1930.

This ratification will ease country’s export in the European countries as they gave condition to ratify it for sending products to their countries.