The cabinet yesterday approved a draft law which will allow foreign shipping vessels to fish in Bangladesh maritime area upon taking licence from the authorities concerned and following rules.
The draft law titled "Marine Fisheries Act-2017" -- approved in principle at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Secretariat -- proposed imprisonment, fine, confiscation of the foreign vessels or arrest of its owners for fishing or entering into Bangladesh territory without having a licence.
In this connection, one will have to face maximum three years of imprisonment and pay a fine of Tk 5 lakh.
However, the foreign fishing vessels could only enter into Bangladesh maritime territory without a licence under certain conditions. According to the draft law, those are: to travel to another place through the country's maritime territory, to avoid danger of any endangered ships or its crews, to provide assistance to endangered people or ships or airplanes, to take emergency medical treatment of any sailor or for any cause stipulated in the international law.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said the proposed law is being framed after translating it into Bangla in line with a High Court directive. It was an ordinance earlier.
The cabinet also approved in principle Sheikh Hasina National Youth Development Centre Act-2017 in order to turn the centre, which has been operating since 1998, into an institute. According to the law, there will be an executive council to run the institute. Secretary to the ministry of youth will be the chief of the council. The main objective of the institute is to build it as a youth think tank to turn them into national resources, said the cabinet secretary.
The cabinet also approved National Youth Policy-2017 -- according to which, people from 18 to 35 years will be considered youths; and Marine Fisheries Act-2017.
The meeting congratulated Awami League lawmaker and Whip of the Parliament Iqbalur Rahman for achieving World Leadership Federation award on Social Innovator recently.
It also approved a draft of an agreement to be signed with Bhutan for avoidance of double taxation and tax evasion aimed at expansion of the trade facilities between the two countries under BBIN (Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal) framework.