The cabinet has approved a proposed pesticide law suggesting tougher punitive actions against storing and marketing of adulterated bug killers meant for crop protection.
Officials said the cabinet in its weekly meeting on Monday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair endorsed the "Balai Nashak (pesticide) Act, 2017" that suggested higher amount of fines and longer jail terms for marketing, sale, package or storage of adulterated pesticides.
Briefing journalists at the Bangladesh Secretariat after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Md Shafiul Alam said the proposed law also suggested tougher punitive actions for false labeling and tagging or advertisement of any tainted pesticide.
"In such cases, one could be fined as high as Tk 100,000 and in default, could be handed down one year jail term for committing such offences for the first time," he said.
But, he said, someone found to be repeating the identical offence would have to pay double the amount, Tk 200,000, and languish in jail for two years.
The cabinet secretary said pesticide producers would be fined an amount as high as Tk 50,000 for offering their products to dealers with false declaration that those were produced maintaining the standard prescribed in the law.
One might be fined at least Taka 75,000 or maximum 100,000, or may serve at least one year and highest two years in jail for unauthorised use of a registration number.
Alam said the law suggested identical punishment for compromising pesticide quality, preventing the inspector from discharging duties and furnishing false information during registration.
The draft law authorized mobile courts to execute the Act but no court would accept lawsuit against any producer without written complain of the concerned inspector, conservator of concerned government official. "The new act will replace the Pesticide Ordinance, 1971 and cover broader areas of controlling insecticides including insects, fungus, bacteria, worm, virus, weed, rat and other pest control," the cabinet secretary said.
The law has been framed in Bangla with necessary revision of the previous ordinance.
According to the law the government would fix the maximum retail price (MRP) of the pesticides, highest commission for whole and retail sellers through notification.