The cabinet on Monday approved the draft of ‘Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2021’ with a provision for punishing top bank officials for committing bank fraud through digital cheques.
The punishment could be a maximum five years’ jail or Tk 50 lakh fine, or both, according to the draft law.
The cabinet at its weekly meeting took the decisions. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting, joining it virtually from Ganabhaban.
Briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said, “A provision has been included in the draft law to remove the owner, director, chief executive, manager, secretary or any other official of the company in the case of offences committed by the bank or the company.”
The Cabinet Secretary said the draft law has mentioned punishment for various crimes, but it is not applicable for mobile banking services.
Replying to a query, the cabinet secretary said, "There were regulations, but no precise law governing bank payments and settlements was there. Now it’s going digital. These were not there in the regulations. That’s why the whole system has been brought in the law separately.”
In the draft law, there are 47 sections, including provisions for electronic money transfers, but cryptocurrency, or virtual currency has not been included in it.
Cryptocurrency is not approved as a medium of exchange by the central bank, Anwarul Islam said.
“The law has particular sections that outline offences. Section 4/5 defines how transactions will be conducted, how payments will be made, how they’ll be managed and how services will be offered,” he said.
The draft also includes rules regarding board management, the minimum investment needed to be a member of the board, ownership and management, management of inspections, and rules of service. Provisions include the transfer of funds through electronic means and the issuing of digital funds by the central bank.”
“Section 37 of the draft law outlines the punishment for those who commit offences,” the cabinet secretary said.
“Section 39 specifies that Bangladesh Bank can remove the owner, director, chief executive, manager, secretary or any other official of a company because of any offences they commit or are involved in,” he added.