Cabinet Okays revised Standards of Weights and Measures Act draft

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DHAKA : The Cabinet today approved draft of the revised Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 2017 suggesting tougher punitive actions in its weekly meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

“The Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 2017 is framed to upgrade the existing weight and measurement system to international standards,” Cabinet Secretary M Shafiul Alam told a news briefing adding that the meeting today also endorsed two other proposed laws related to agriculture and industry. He said the draft on the new standardization law suggested higher amount of penalty for defiance of its provisions of the proposed act which was drafted modifying the 1982 Standard Weights and Measures Ordinance and translating it into Bangla.

Alam said anyone found to be involved in tempering working standards of the weights and measures would face two years of imprisonment and fine of Taka 50,000 under the new law.

“(Under the law) one will be exposed to maximum six months of imprisonment and penalty amounting Taka 20,000 for using non-standard scales without prior government approval,” he said.

The law also proposed one year jail term and penalty of Taka 100,000 for producers of on-standard scales of measurements.

Alam said if anyone produces such weighing scales even with export purposes, would face one year imprisonment and Taka 50,000 fine.

The proposed law, he said, incorporating the issues related to the international organizations such as Asia Pacific Meteorology Programme (APMP), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Alam said the cabinet today also gave its “final approval” to the draft of Bangladesh Industries Nationalization Act, 2017 and endorsed “in principle” the draft of Bangladesh Krishi Unnayan Corporation Act, 2017.

He said the final cabinet approval to the Industries Nationalization Act came as it was redrafted with some changes in the President’s Order No-16 of 1972 to make the law more time befitting.

Different organisations like Petrobangla have been excluded from the jurisdiction of the law of the Ministry of Industries as the state owned enterprises are controlled by separate ministries, he said.

The government had nationalized some 270 industries under the Presidential order in 1972 while the number of state owned industries came down to 109.

The cabinet secretary said draft of the Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation-BADC Act, 2017 was redrafted in Bangla amending the original law of 196, scrapping some “unnecessary terms and provisions”.

At the onset of the meeting, he said, the cabinet expressed profound shock at the deaths of Bangladesh Ambassador to Brazil and former Foreign Secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes and Bangladesh origin US engineering consultant Ariful Huq. The cabinet recalled the services of Mijarul Quayes to strengthen ties with foreign countries and contributions of Haq, brother of Law Minister Anisul Huq, to different big development projects of Bangladesh like Padma Bridge as consultant with almost no remuneration.

The cabinet prayed seeking their eternal peace.

Quayes died in Brazil on March 11, 2017 while Ariful Huq breathed his last in USA yesterday.

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