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The Financial Express

Tougher punishment for using harmful chemicals in fish

Cabinet approves draft law incorporating a provision of minimum five years imprisonment, Tk 500,000 fine or both


Published: April 06, 2020 19:59:41 | Updated: April 07, 2020 07:37:19


Tougher punishment for using harmful chemicals in fish

A draft law has proposed harsher punishment for marketing and exporting fish or fish products mixing harmful chemicals.

The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of the Fish and Fish Products (Inspection and Quality Control) Bill, 2020 that has incorporated a provision of minimum five years imprisonment, Tk 500,000 fine or both for violation of the law.

The approval came from the weekly cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her official residence Ganobhaban on Monday, reports UNB.

“The Fish and Fish Products (Inspection and Quality Control) Bill has been framed for the protection and expansion of export market of Bangladeshi fish and fish products, and for supplying quality fish and fish products to local markets,” said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam at a press briefing at the Bangladesh Secretariat after the meeting.

 “Without having license, no-one can export fish and fish products, set up or run a factory or any establishment in this regard as per the proposed law,” he said.

As per the bill, the license can be rebuked on different grounds, including violation of conditions mentioned in the license, providing false information or concealing information, failure of renewing license for three consecutive years, and handing over and selling the license, he added.

The Cabinet Secretary said if the inspection officer finds unhygienic environment in factories or establishment or sub-standard quality of processing during inspection, the administrative penalty would be maximum Tk 500,000 fine.

According to the existing Fish and Fish Products (Inspection and Quality Control) Ordinance, 1983, the punishment is just maximum six months’ imprisonment, Tk 5,000 fine or both.

Besides, the cabinet gave the final endorsement to the draft of Bangladesh Reference Institute of Chemical Measurement Bill, 2020.

The draft law was formulated to develop a separate institution to help achieve international standards in chemical testing services in laboratories of the country by creating chemical measurement scientific infrastructures in Bangladesh.

The Designated Reference Institute for Chemical Measurements (DRICM) was established under the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR). The Prime Minister inaugurated the DRICM in 2012.

As per the bill, the functions of Bangladesh Reference Institute for Chemical Measurements include providing measurement and reference measurement services;  development, validation and transfer of chemical measurement methods; providing reference values of chemicals, organic and non-organic substances in the materials; introduction of chemical toxicity and risk assessment management based on reference measurements; running chemical measurement science related education; providing research assistance to higher education; and running activities to train up local and foreign trainees, said Anwarul Islam.

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