5-yr jail for marketing fish, fish products using harmful chemicals; bill okayed

Sun Online Desk

6th April, 2020 08:31:17 printer

5-yr jail for marketing fish, fish products using harmful chemicals; bill okayed

The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of the Fish and Fish Products (Inspection and Quality Control) Bill, 2020 toughening the punishment for marketing and exporting fish or fish products mixing harmful chemicals.

As per the draft bill, the punishment for violation of the law is minimum five years imprisonment, Tk five lakh fine or both.

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

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

“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 five lakh fine.

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

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.