Govt publishes gazette on trade organisation act

| Updated: April 19, 2022 21:01:16

Govt publishes gazette on trade organisation act

The gazette on the trade organisation act was published on Wednesday last.

The government has prepared the act after around 61 years keeping a provision of increasing the volume of fine ten times in the event of violating the law.

The Trade Organisation Bill, 2022, was passed in the parliament this month allowing foreign traders to form joint trade bodies in Bangladesh. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi placed the bill in the House that was unanimously passed by voice vote.

The act replaced the Trade Organisations Ordinance, 1961.

According to the ordinance, the Director Trade Organization (DTO) under the commerce ministry would issue licenses to the country's chambers, associations and owners' associations.

There were 23 sections in the ordinance, while the new act has 32 sections, said a high official of the commerce ministry.

The act will ensure discipline among different types of trade organisations and also ensure proper representation of people from various trading organisations and the government, the official added.

Some provisions have been included in the act for women entrepreneurs. Another provision has been included for inter-country joint chambers of commerce and industry and a chamber of commerce and industry alliance.

In case of violation of the existing ordinance, there was a provision to fine only Tk 1,000 to Tk 10,000. It has been increased ten times from Tk 10,000 to Tk 0.1 million. Collecting fines for violating the existing law is very rare as the supervision system of DTO is weak, the commerce ministry official said.

The law has a section called 'latent trade organisation'. The organisation will be given a show-cause notice if it does not set up an office within six months of obtaining a license, does not hold an annual general meeting for two consecutive years and does not submit an audit report and return every two years, included new law.

If the answer is not satisfactory, the director general will declare the organisation dormant according to the law, added the act. Currently, around 955 trade organisations have got licensees from the commerce ministry.

These include the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI), seven metropolitan chambers of commerce and industry, 18 women chambers of commerce and industry, 64 district chambers of commerce and industry, two upazila chambers of commerce and industry, 64 joint chambers of commerce and industry, 187 professional groups or associations, 451 Bangladesh-based associations and 170 non-profit organisations under the section 28 of the company act.

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