The cabinet on Monday approved the draft of 'The Air Transport (The Montreal Convention, 1999) Bill, 2020' raising compensation to Tk 11.762334 million from Tk 2.37600 million for one’s death and injury caused by an air accident.
The approval came at the cabinet meeting held with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her office.
Briefing reporters at the secretariat, cabinet secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said the draft law has been formulated to in accordance with 'The Montreal Convention, 1999' to safeguard air passengers.
“If the proposed law is passed, each of the air passengers will get US$ 138,544 for death or injuries caused by any air accident,” he said.
Bangladesh is a signatory to the Montreal Convention which deals with the passengers’ rights and compensation, but it was not transformed into any law in Bangladesh. Since Bangladesh has no law over the convention, the people of Bangladesh do not get benefits as prescribed in the convention.
Referring to the plane crash in Nepal in 2017, he said each of the passengers who were killed and injured in the plane crash in Nepal got negligible compensation.
The cabinet secretary said any aircraft company will have to pay US$ 5,734 as compensation to a passenger due to flight delay in line with the proposed law which was only US$ 20 in the existing law.
Due to damage or loss of baggage and cargo of a passenger, the flight carriers must to pay US$ 1,381 and US$ 24 for per kilogram respectively in the draft law which is only US$ 20 now, he mentioned.
The law will be applicable for death, damage or loss and, delay even in the case of domestic air transportation, said the cabinet secretary adding that the government can make the proposed law applicable by formulating necessary rules.
The cabinet at its meeting also approved in principle the draft of 'The Bangladesh Travel Agency (Registration & Control) (Amendment), Bill, 2020' incorporating provisions of realising up to Tk 500,000 as fine for delayed application for renewal of licences.
The aim of the draft law is to run the travel agencies smoothly in the country, said Anwarul Islam.
He said the draft law has been formulated to strengthen activities of the directorate of registration as well as empower the registration authority to realise fine from the travel agencies who would be failed to get the renewal of registration in time.
He said there is also a provision in the proposed draft law on transferring ownership under some specific conditions and opening new branches in other parts of the country.
Besides, the cabinet meeting gave approval in principle to the drafts of the 'Iodised Salt Bill, 2020' and 'Chattogram Port Authority Bill, 2020'.
The cabinet secretary said the aim of the 'Iodised Salt Bill, 2020' is to check various diseases caused by lack of iodine.
He said there are provisions in the draft law to form a national committee on iodised salt, an observatory and monitoring committee, to set up a Salt Research Institute in the country and apply 'Mobile court Act, 2009' in this regard.
While talking about the 'Chattogram Port Authority Bill, 2020', Anwarul Islam said the draft law has been proposed for making the existing law more time-befitting one.
The meeting also gave nod to a proposal of the youth and sports ministry on celebrating National Sports Day on 6 April every year alongside observing the day as the International Sports Day.