The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) said it was unable to frame the rules for the Road Transport Act-2018 and asked the ministry concerned to hire a consultant instead.
The BRTA, the state's regulatory body for managing the sector and ensuring road safety, has sought from the road transport ministry Tk 30 lakh (Tk 250,000 per month) to appoint a consultant for a year.
The parliament passed the act on September 19 and the President approved it on October 8. But a gazette making the act effective could not be issued since the act does not have the rules that explains how the law would be enforced, the ministry said.
While the ministry said the lack of rules was the reason for the act not becoming effective, the road safety campaigners blamed it on mounting pressure of transport workers, who wanted some clauses of the act to be amended.
The ministry, however, did not accept the BRTA request for a consultant in October and formed a seven-member committee instead.
The committee, led by BRTA's director of administration, held a meeting on November 20 where the participants observed that skilled, experienced, and full-time employees were needed to prepare the rules.
The BRTA lacked the relevant legal department, the committee members noted, adding that there was no employee who could work round-the-clock and therefore a consultant was needed.
The committee sent a letter to the ministry in the first week of this month asking for the money to hire the consultant but is yet to get any response.
At present, the BRTA has a law section led by a deputy director who is managing the section as an additional duty, sources at the office said.
“We requested the ministry to appoint a consultant because we want a standard rules to be framed as soon as possible,” BRTA Chairman Mohammed Moshiar Rahman told this paper on December 10.
In March last year, the cabinet approved in principle then proposed Road Transport Act. But the proposal remained stuck at the law ministry for over a year as opposition from transport workers and owners against some of its provisions grew stronger.
The act was in parliament after two college students were killed by a bus at Dhaka's Airport Road on July 29 sparking a student agitation.
Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation observed strikes on October 28-29 to realise their eight-point demand, including amendment of the act.