Cabinet approves Essential Services Bill

The cabinet on Monday approved the Essential Services Bill 2022 incorporating the Essential Services (Maintenance) Act 1952 and the Essential Services (Second) Order 1958.

“The bill is drafted in Bengali from English, incorporating two former essential services acts, which now include e-commerce, internet and digital services to make it more expedient,” the cabinet secretary said. Khandker Anwarul Islam at a press conference after the weekly. cabinet meeting.

He said the government would be able to declare any services essential when needed once the bill passes parliament.

Anwarul said the “unlawful” strike which could affect essential services had been made a punishable offense in the law proposed by the Ministry of Labor and Employment.

The management would not be allowed to dismiss a factory or other establishments “illegally” affecting such services which could hit the public hard.

Essential services already included activities related to the production and distribution of electricity, post and telecommunications, railways, transport of passengers and goods by waterway, road and air.

The government can declare any service essential status for up to six months, the cabinet secretary said.

After the declaration, the application of the strike or the closure and the announcement of the dismissal in this service would be illegal and punishable offenses, he added.

The bill proposed a maximum of one year in prison and a fine of Tk 1 lakh for breaking the law.

This law would prevail in case of conflict with labor laws, said the cabinet secretary.

The cabinet approved a proposal by the Ministry of Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs to declare and observe November 4 as National Constitution Day.

He also endorsed a proposal by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to maintain the current ban on cutting trees in classified and natural forests until 2030 to protect the country’s biodiversity.

“Trees in classified forests will not be allowed to be cut under any circumstances before 2030. But trees in social forests can be cut. The current ban is in effect until December this year,” Anwarul said.

The Cabinet also approved the Sand Quarries and Soil Management (Amendment) Bill, preventing the relevant authorities from declaring any area as a sand quarry without carrying out an investigation by either the Water Development Board, or by the Bangladesh Waterway Transport Authority for the purpose of checking the indiscriminate heaving of sand. .

A sand quarry cannot be rented to anyone for more than a year, Anwarul added.

The idiot came up with the maximum sentence of two years imprisonment and Tk 10 lakh fine for breaking the law.

The cabinet also approved the draft National Adaptation Plan (2023-2030) with the aim of dealing with the adversities of climate change.

Michelle J. Kelley