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Dhaka Tribune

Cabinet approves TCB reform

Update : 03 Oct 2013, 01:33 PM

The cabinet approved the amendment proposal of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) Order (Amendment) Act, 2013 on Thursday, giving the corporation the authority to create a buffer stock of commodities, import goods to ensure supply and control markets, and to export a limited amount of goods.

The number of directors at TCB and the authorised capital of the organisation have also been increased in the amended law. The authorised capital of TCB will be increased from Tk50m to Tk10bn.

The cabinet on Thursday gave final approval to amend the law. The draft law will be sent to the law ministry for vetting after which it will be sent to the running parliament session for passage, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told reporters at a briefing afterwards.

According to the amended law, the number of directors at TCB will be increased from two to five. Of the five, the chairman and two directors will be full time and two commerce ministry officials will be part time members.

National Export Trophy Guideline

The draft of the National Export Trophy Guidelines 2013 was also approved in the cabinet meeting, increasing the number sectors eligible for trophies from 25 to 32.

The new guidelines add the goods sector, service sector and compliance systems of export-oriented industries to the list of those eligible for the national export trophy. There will now be a special category for women entrepreneurs also, the cabinet secretary said.

Geographical Indication (GI) Act 2013

Furthermore, the cabinet approved the draft of the Geographical Indication (GI) (Registration and Protection) Act 2013, which will be placed in the running parliament session.

Cabinet Secretary Bhuiyan said the law would protect the country’s right to protect and patent famous, exceptional and extraordinary products originating within its geographical territory. These include products such as Hilsha, Jamdani Saree, Nakshi Kantha and Fazli mango.

Crucial features of the law include a process of registration and legal remedy in getting back the rights to a native product in the international arena, industries ministry officials said.

According to the draft, the ministry will open a GI wing under the Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks for the registration of geographical indications of goods.

To register a product, an association or cooperative producing or selling a product will have to apply, and no individual will be able to register a product.

The registration of GI goods will be valid for 10 years. If people or associations trying to get a certificate are not the real owners of the goods, they will be punished with a maximum of three years imprisonment or a fine of Tk200,000, or both.

Edible Oil Fortification with Vitamin ‘A’ Act 2013

The cabinet also approved the draft of the Edible Oil Fortification with Vitamin A Act 2013 in principle, with a provision of mandatory Vitamin A fortification in edible oil and the imposing of a ban on imports of unfortified oil in a bid to ensure people’s access to Vitamin A.

The cabinet meeting gave a nod to the industries ministry’s proposed law. It will be sent to law ministry for vetting and subsequently be placed before cabinet.

According to the draft, refiners and traders will not be allowed to sell, supply or export edible oil without vitamin A fortification of a specified dosage.

Refiners will be able to import unfortified oil only if they add vitamin A afterwards.  They will have to put the fortification logo on the bottles, containers or packets before marketing.

In the draft, the ministry proposed to fine those who violate the law Tk500,000 for the first offence and Tk1m to Tk2m for subsequent offences.

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