Parliament passes bill to ensure proportionate use of iodine in salt
Parliament today passed a bill titled "The Iodized Salt Bill, 2021" to ensure proportionate use of iodine in salt and regulate salt market in the country, with a provision of punishment for rule violators.
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun placed the bill, which was passed by voice vote.
The proposed law will be enacted through annulling the previous 'Iodine Deficiency Disease Prevention Act-1989'.
Under the proposed law, a 14-member national salt committee -- with the industries secretary as its chairman -- will be formed to oversee production, processing, refining, storage, transportation and marketing of salt, use of iodine in salt, supply of iodine to the salt factory, regulating salt import, as well as to place recommendations over salt management policy.
There will be a separate cell under the industries ministry to ensure the mixing of proportionate iodine in salt.
If anyone wants to produce, process, store, import, supply salt or set up a salt factory, the concerned party will have to get registered under the proposed law.
It would be considered an offense to import, produce, market or stock salt without registering beforehand.
If anyone produces, processes and imports salt and runs iodized salt factory without registration, or does not maintain the standard, the person will be sentenced to one to three years in jail and fined Tk 50,000-Tk 15 lakh or both.
The law violators can be punished through mobile courts.
According to the bill, during the past decades, Bangladesh has done a remarkable job bringing down once-epidemic numbers of goitre and thyroid disease.
In the mid-1990s, around 47 percent of the population suffered from goitre. Today, that number falls well below 6 percent.