Cabinet clears draft of Bank-Company (Amendment) Act 2021

Publish: 7:22 PM, May 17, 2021 | Update: 7:22:PM, May 17, 2021

DHAKA,  – The Cabinet today approved in principle the draft of Bank-Company (Amendment) Act 2021 aiming to bring more discipline in default loans and good governance along with sustainability in the financial sector.

The approval came from the Cabinet meeting held virtually with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The Prime Minister joined the meeting virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban while her cabinet colleagues attended the meeting at the Bangladesh Secretariat.

“The proposed law is required for overseeing banking business operation, controlling default loans, and ensuring good governance and stability in the financial sector,” said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam while briefing reporters after the meeting.

The Bank Company Act 1991 doesn’t cover many issues since the number of banks, their assets, loans, deposits, leases, investment and many other things have increased, he said.

The draft law was framed, revising the related banking laws of different countries, said Anwarul.

“The definition of the deliberate loan defaulters and actions against them are not much clear in the existing laws as the Bank Company Act 1991 was framed following the then context. But, the issues have precisely been mentioned in the article 27 (Kha and Ga) of the proposed law,” he said.

Besides, some new provisions were also incorporated in the draft law focusing on different issues like good management and recovery of the weak bank companies, actions against the responsible behind the critical conditions of the vulnerable banks, and reform and merging of banks.

If any director of a bank or any other man gets engaged in irregularities, the person will have to count a huge amount as fine alongside facing the criminal charge, said the cabinet secretary.

The Cabinet also approved in principle the draft of Special Security Force Act, 2021 incorporating the issue of providing security to the family members of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and very important persons.

The proposed law was brought as the existing law titled “the Special Security Force Ordinance, 1986” was void following a verdict of the higher court.

“The new law was drafted revising the existing one. Only one thing was included here, which is providing security to the family members of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and very important persons,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

He said the Bangabandhu’s family members means his two daughters, grandchildren, and in some cases, spouses or issues of the grandchildren.

The very important persons defined by the government through gazettes, heads of the foreign States or Governments will be given security under the draft law.

Replying to a query, Anwarul said in case of providing security to the Bangabandhu’s family members, the Special Security Force Act, 2021 will be given priority no matter whatever is there in the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Family Members Security Act, 2009.

The Cabinet also cleared the draft of Gold Policy 2018 (Amendment 2021) keeping provision to create pave the way for importing unrefined gold or partially-refined gold alongside gold and gold bars as well as setting up refineries in the country.

In the policy, the gold refinery has been defined and the Commerce Ministry will prepare a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to set up and run the gold refinery following the international standards, said the Cabinet Secretary.

He said the Prime Minister has directed to include other valuable goods such as diamond, platinum in the policy as it will create employment for a good number of people due to by-products of the valuable goods.

Besides, the Cabinet gave final clearance to the draft of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Pirojpur Act 2021 in order to establish a varsity in Pirojpur district.

In addition, a draft report on different activities taken by ministries and divisions for tackling COVID-19 pandemic and certificate receipt by the Land Minister from World Book of Records, London were also present in the meeting.