Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun has said that iodized salt is very important in building a healthy and talented generation.
He said that for the overall management of the country's salt sector, the existing Iodine Deficiency Disease Prevention Act, 1979 has been repealed and necessary amendments have been made in the Iodized Salt Act, 2021 to ensure iodine addition to edible salt and use of iodized salt in human and other animal feed.
He was speaking as the chief guest at a Workshop on 'Iodized Salt Act, 2021: Awareness' organized by the Ministry of Industries at Sonargaon Hotel in the capital on Monday.
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State Minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Majumder MP was the special guest at the function presided over by Industries Secretary Zakia Sultana. Md Mushtaq Hasan NDC, Chairman, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSIC), Sheldon Yate, Representative of UNICEF Bangladesh.
Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Industry (Law) attended the programme. Additional Secretary (Policy, Law and International Cooperation) of the Ministry of Industries Sheikh Faizul Amin delivered the welcome address conducted by AFM Amir Hossain. Among others, representatives of UNICEF Bangladesh and other development partners, individuals involved in the salt business and senior officials of the Ministry of Industries and its affiliated departments / agencies were present.
The Industries Minister further said that 'Iodized Salt Act, 2021' is a very important and timely law. A National Salt Committee will be constituted under this Act. The committee will make recommendations on salt cultivation, processing, iodine addition, storage and sale and on iodine supply and management policy for salt factories. The 14-member National Salt Committee will oversee the activities of the Iodized Salt Monitoring and Implementation Cell under the Ministry of Industries.
Addressing the traders, the minister said that the traders should come forward not only considering the business profit but also out of social responsibility. If people want to make the next generation healthy and talented, businessmen must add iodine to edible salt while maintaining the right level of quality as per the instructions of this law.
Speaking as the special guest, State Minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Majumder said there is no substitute for iodized salt in the daily diet to ensure the health of the nation. He called upon the salt industry owners to supply iodized salt across the country along with various initiatives of the government in compliance with the Iodized Salt Act 2021 to fill the iodized salt deficit. He said that instead of importing salt, we should take steps to produce more salt in our country and take steps for export.
Speaking on the occasion, the Industries Secretary said that the law provides for a maximum of three years imprisonment and a fine of Tk 1.5 million for non-availability of iodine in edible salt and salt used in animal feed.
Moreover, if anyone wants to import, produce, store, wholesale supply, process or refine salt at the consumer level in Bangladesh, henceforth registration has to be done under this Act. If anyone does not register, there is a provision of two years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakh. The law also provides for two years' imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakh for selling edible or inedible salt without a packet or label.