Cabinet nods draft law for private medical, dental colleges

Publish: 7:33 PM, May 3, 2021 | Update: 7:33:PM, May 3, 2021

DHAKA,  – The cabinet today cleared the draft of Private Medical College and Dental College Act, 2021, aimed at bringing more discipline in this sector.

The approval came from the weekly cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The premier virtually joined the meeting held at the Bangladesh Secretariat from her official residence Ganabhaban.

While briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said a medical or dental college should have at least 50 students while its teacher-student ratio will be 1:10 as per the proposed law.

According to the proposed law, a medical college needs to have at least two acres of land in any metropolitan area while the land requirement for the dental college is one acres, he said.

Islam continued the land requirement is four acres for medical college outside the metropolitan areas whereas for the dental college it will be two acres.

He added any medical college will have to deposit Taka 3 crore in any commercial bank as the preserved fund while the amount will be Taka 2 crore for any dental college.

For academic purpose, medical college will need to have one lakh square feet of space and another one lakh square feet of space for hospital purpose as per the proposed law.

Besides, the space would be 50,000 square feet each for dental college and hospital, said the cabinet secretary, adding authorities concerned will inspect the college and hospital time to time.

He also said the medical and dental college have to be affiliated under any public university while the academic fees for medical and dental college would be determined by the government.

The private medical college or dental college authority will have to dispose the medical waste through proper scientific way.

Regarding the violation of the law, the maximum punishment would be maximum two years of imprisonment or Taka 10 lakh fine or both.

Seventy private medical colleges and 26 private dental colleges in the country are now run under the Private Medical College Establishment and Operation Guidelines 2011 and Private Dental College Establishment and Operation Guidelines 2009.

The cabinet also gave final nod to the draft of Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones (Amendment) Act, 2021 to make it more time befitting and appropriate to cope with the new era.

The cabinet secretary said the old law which was enacted in 1974 has to be amended as new context and matters are emerging.

He mentioned that there are 22 new definitions included in the proposed amended law. He said that the new law included definitions of area, high sea area, blue economy, maritime cooperation, research and sea pollution.

The cabinet in principle approved the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources Act, 2021 for scrapping two ordinances in this regard that were promulgated in the military regimes in 1976 and 1986.

There will be a corporation which authorizes Taka 5000 crore as capital while the paid up capital will be Taka 200 crore, he said, adding as per the proposed law it can also form a company.

He said at the meeting a quarterly (Jan-March) statement of 2021 on the implementation of the decisions earlier taken by the Cabinet was presented.

Islam said the rate of the implementation of the cabinet decisions is 48.78 percent for the first three months of the calendar year 2021 where it was 64.79 percent in the stipulated time in the last year.

“Basically due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic the implementation rate is a little bit slow, but it is encouraging,” said the quarterly written statement.

This year some 41 decisions have been taken by the cabinet while 20 decisions were implemented. The approved policy or work strategy in this time was one with four agreements or protocol while the number of passed laws in Parliament is six.

On the other hand, in the time frame of January to March in 2020, cabinet took 71 decisions in its 10 meeting while 46 decisions were implemented, with 25 pending. The approved policy or work strategy in this time was four with four agreements or protocol while the number of passed laws in Parliament was seven.