The Cabinet today approved the draft of the Fish and Fish Products (Inspection and Quality Control) Bill, 2020 with provision for minimum five years' imprisonment, Tk 5 lakh fine or both as punishment for violation of the law.
The bill includes a toughened stance on marketing and exporting fish or fish products mixing harmful chemicals.
The punishment is just maximum six months' imprisonment, Tk 5,000 fine or both according to the existing Fish and Fish Products (Inspection and Quality Control) Ordinance, 1983.
The approval came during the weekly cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her official residence Gono Bhaban, UNB reports.
"The Fish and Fish Products (Inspection and Quality Control) Bill has been framed for the protection and expansion of export market of Bangladeshi fish and fish products, and for supplying quality fish and fish products to local markets," Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said at a press briefing at the Bangladesh Secretariat after the meeting.
"Without having a licence, no one can export fish and fish products, set up or run a factory or any establishment in this regard as per the proposed law," he said.
As per the bill, the license can be revoked on different grounds, including providing false information or concealing information, failure in renewing licence for three consecutive years, and handing over and selling the licence, the cabinet secretary said.
If the concerned official finds unhygienic environment in factories or establishment or sub-standard quality of processing during inspection, the administrative penalty would be maximum Tk 5 lakh fine, he added.