PM Hasina asks concerned to be more active in getting GI recognition certificates

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chairs a cabinet meeting at PMO on 11 February in 2024BSS

The cabinet on Sunday gave final approval to the draft of ‘Village Court (amendment) Act, 2024’ enhancing the authority of village courts to fine Taka 300,000, raising the amount from existing Taka 75,000.

The approval came from the weekly cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Prime Minister’s Office in the capital.

Cabinet secretary Md Mahbub Hossain briefed newspersons at the Secretariat this afternoon.

Hossain said the government gave the final approval to the draft act last year. There is an obligation to take approval from the new cabinet as it was not tabled in the last parliament, he said, adding now the current cabinet gave the final approval.

He said the government is set to enhance the authority of village courts, enabling them to raise fines from Taka 75,000 to Taka 300,000.

He said a village court comprises five members, including the union parishad chairman. In some cases, the court cannot function if any member remains absent. In this situation, the absent member would get seven days to be present in the meeting. If the member cannot be present, then the chairman has the power to give one additional vote, he said.

The cabinet secretary further said complication is being created if the person representing one party of a case dies. From now on, successor of the deceased can be the party in the case concerned.

Mahbub Hossain also informed the media that the cabinet also gave final approval to ‘Local Government (city corporation) (amendment) Act, 2024’.

From now on, he said, the government would do the work of drainage management instead of the city corporation. City corporation mayors and councilors will now enjoy one-month leave instead of three months, he added.

Under the amended law, Hossain said, there is a provision of holding city corporation polls within 90 days or three months before the end of the tenure while earlier it was 180 days.

He said, as per the new act, the tenure of a city corporation will be five years and the new mayors and councilors will take oath within 15 days after the election.

BGMEA leaders pay a courtesy call on prime minister Sheikh Hasina at the PMO on 11 February in 2024

He said the power of forming standing committee of the city corporation has been enhanced. Now 21 committees could be formed instead of the existing 14.

He said there will be no post of secretary in the corporation and he (secretary) will be recognised as the chief executive officer.

Hossain said a proposal of exempting the agriculture ministry from the responsibility of forming a separate policy for processing agri products has been approved in the cabinet.

Replying to a query, the cabinet secretary said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has gave directives to all concerned to be more active in getting recognition certificates of GI products.

'Expand export market, diversify products'

In another event in the day, the prime minister laid emphasis on the expansion of export market and diversification of productions.

“In order to increase exports, the market should be expanded alongside diversification of products,” she said while leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) paid a courtesy call on the prime minister at her office (PMO) in the capital.

Sheikh Hasina also urged the businessmen to pay special attention to ensure the quality of the produced goods.

Prime minister’s deputy press secretary KM Shakhawat Moon, in a media briefing, said that during the meeting, the BGMEA delegation briefed the prime minister about business, trade, exports and recent market situations.

As the delegation members pointed out some problems caused by various reasons, including the global situation, the prime minister listened to them attentively and assured them of solving those as soon as possible.

The delegation included BGMEA president Faruque Hassan, former president and former commerce minister Tipu Munsi, former presidents Abdus Salam Murshedi, Shafiul Islam and Siddiqur Rahman and other leaders of the organisation.