Monday, 17 January, 2022

JS passes two bills

  • Special Correspondent
  • 28 November, 2021 12:00 AM
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JS passes two bills

Parliament on Saturday passed two bills ---The Highways Bill, 2021 and The Bankers’ Book Evidence Bill, 2021.

Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal placed the Highways Bill, 2021 and The Bankers’ Book Evidence Bill, 2021 respectively, seeking immediate passage of the bills.

Both the bills were passed by voice vote with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.

The bridges minister moved the bill aiming to have a full-fledged law replacing the century-old one.

There is a law of 1925 (Highways Act, 1925), having only five clauses, which are inadequate to deal with maintenance, management and construction of highways.

The provisions of punishment have also been kept in case of violation of the proposed law. The punishment will be a maximum two years’ jail or fine of Tk 5,000 to Tk 5 lakh.

As per the Bill, the government will decide which vehicles will run on which roads or highways, which will be declared as expressway along with highways and how these will be operated and from which roads toll will be collected.

As per the Bill, the government or any individual given responsibility by the government will develop the highways, repair or maintain those, highways related sewerage system and construct drains, culverts and bridges.

It said that after paying the fixed charges of the government, semi government and private service providers can set up their utility connections.

It said that on the highways there will be no scope to keep crops or something others for drying up those.

The Bill stated that without taking prior permission no billboard, signboard, gate or like this will be set up on the highways.

Slow speed vehicles have to use the specific lanes, it said.

The bill mentioned about taking steps to set up specific and safe places for people with disability, children and elderly persons.

The Bankers' Book Evidence Bill 2021 is going to replace the old Bankers' Book Evidence Act 1891 as many things in the current law are not consistent with the present-day situation.

Besides, the banks are now working digitally which was not mentioned in the previous law.

The proposed law has suggested making information public except those of private ones after taking permission from the court and fixing the authorities who can do that.

The new law also states some offences, punishments and trial to prevent unauthorised and behind-scene leak of any information.

The proposed law defines the jurisdiction of the court for any bank-related information, which is totally prohibited in the old one.

Some of the information has been opened up in the new law, axing the privileged and personal information, which will be authorised to publish the information.