Cabinet okays Rajshahi Dev Authority Bill with provision of jail, fine

DHAKA : The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of the Rajshahi Development Authority Bill, 2017 incorporating a master plan to develop the city as a planned one, and imprisonment or fine for filling any water reservoir, low-land, cutting hills or hillocks and stopping water flow, reports UNB.
The approval was given at the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at the Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
After the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam briefed reporters.
He said the original law was the Rajshahi Town Development Ordinance Authority 1976 promulgated by the martial law regime and it was translated into Bangla and updated as per earlier directives of the Supreme Court that had declared all the ordinances, promulgated during military rules, illegal.
According to the draft law, the Cabinet Secretary said, Rajshahi city would be developed under a master plan and any one using the city lands violating the master plan will have to face jail or fine or both the punishments.
He said any khal, beel, haor, river, dighi (various types of water bodies), or any other places declared as the floodwater flowing areas by any local administration of the government through gazette notification would be termed as a water reservoir.
He said there is a provision of one year imprisonment or fine of Tk 50,000 or both for filling any water reservoir or low-land, cutting hills or hillocks, stopping water flow as such activities would be treated as crimes.
As per draft law, the Rajshahi Development Authority will be empowered to give order to stop such activities and the mentioned punishments would be awarded to the responsible people for violating the orders.
The Cabinet also approved the draft of ‘The Bangladesh Rural Development Board Act, 2017’ aimed at making the existing law more time-befitting one.
Under the draft law, Shafiul Alam said, a board will be constituted with the LGRD and Cooperatives Minister as its Chairman and Secretary of the Ministry as its Vice Chairman.
The DGs of BARD and RDA, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and Lives Stocks as well as from concerned other organisations will be its members.
The meeting also approved in principle the draft of rules of the Income Tax Ordinance, 1984 for passing it as ‘The Income Tax Act, 2017’.
Shafiul Alam said the draft law has been formulated as an integrated one through compiling all the amended versions of the Income Tax Ordinance, 1984 keeping all the rules as these were in the existing law alongside translating those in to Bangla.
The Cabinet also approved the draft of the agreement to be signed on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between Bangladesh and Oman.
Besides, today’s meeting of the Cabinet gave nod to the draft agreement to be signed on Cultural Cooperation between Bangladesh and Bhutan.
The Cabinet extended congratulations to the countrymen for the historic Mujibnagar Day commemorating oath taking of the first government of Independent Bangladesh and recalled great contributions of the leaders including Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Besides, State Minister for Post and Telecommunications Tarana Halim handed over a replica of the Bangabandhu Satellite scheduled to be launched in the orbit on 16th of December this year.