The Cabinet on Monday approved in principle the draft of the National Defence Policy 2018, outlined on the basis of the existing Defence Policy of 1974 formulated by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The approval was given at the weekly meeting of the Cabinet, held at the prime minister's office with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said the new policy has a detailed guideline on the capability of the armed forces, its relation with the media and people.
The new policy is in line with the 2009 “Forces Goal 2030” that aims to modernize the armed forces into a three dimensional force.
“During wartime or a national crisis, all paramilitary and supportive forces like police, BGB, coast guard and BNCC will work under operational command of the Armed Forces,” the cabinet secretary said.
The meeting also approved the draft of the Addendum-1 to the "Inter-Agency Agreement between Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership of India and Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission on Cooperation regarding Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project."
The cabinet in principle approved the draft of "The Fertilizer (Management) (Amendment) Bill, 2018" with provisions of harsher punishment for selling adulterated fertilizer.
Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said according to the draft bill, the punishment for selling adulterated fertilizer would be two-year imprisonment or Tk5 lakh fine or both.
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chairs the weekly meeting of the cabinet at her office on Monday; March 19, 2018 PID
The punishment in the existing law is six-month imprisonment or Tk 30,000 fine or both.
Shafiul Alam said the draft law has been proposed to bring some changes in the existing law of 2006.
Under the draft law, the number of the members of the National Fertilizer Standardization Committee headed by the agriculture minister would be 17 instead of existing 15 members.
As per the existing law, any appeal regarding fertilizer management shall be disposed of within 10 days of submission of the appeal.
In this regard, the cabinet secretary said: “A new sub-section has been incorporated keeping provision of review under which any aggrieved person can file review petition.”
The cabinet meeting also gave final approval to the draft of "Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute Bill, 2018" and "The Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) Bill, 2018."
The cabinet secretary said according to the draft law, the entire Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions will come under the BMDA instead of only greater Rajshahi's four districts- Rajshahi, Bogra, Rangpur and Dinajpur districts.
About the structure of the BMDA, he said there will be an advisory council headed by the agriculture minister which will be responsible for drafting policy.
Other members of the council will be appointed from 18 different categories including local parliament members, secretaries of the ministries of finance, agriculture, environment, power and energy and water resources and the BMDA chairman, the BADC chairman, and Divisional commissioners of Rajshahi and Rangpur Divisions.
The cabinet also unanimously adopted a condolence motion expressing profound shock and sorrow at the death of 49 people, in the US-Bangla Plane crash in Kathmandu of Nepal. Another condolence motion was also adopted by the cabinet expressing deep shock at the death of noted freedom fighter and sculptor Ferdousi Priyabhashini.