Legislature passed seventeen Acts in 2015, some of which directly signal the progress towards achieving technological and scientific development goals as promised in the government's manifesto. Whereas in 2014, the Parliament was more inclined towards enacting laws which regulated various aspects of education and tourism, in 2015 there was an ascension in tendency of addressing emergency situations, such as, inimical use of formalin in food.
In 2014, Acts like Journalist Welfare Trust Act and DNA Act apprehended the lime light, conversely in the year 2015 Nuclear Power Plant Act stole the show.
The Cabinet approved the Nuclear Power Plant Act on 4 May, 2015 with the aim of building a public limited company namely "Nuclear Power Plant Company Bangladesh Ltd," for commercial operation of the nuclear power reactors. Consequentially, Bangladesh signed a contract with Rosatom, Russia's state-run company, which will build the Nuclear Power Plant in Rooppur, Pabna. This Act was introduced by the Science and Technology Ministry to give this development a legal footing. The Act states the role of the government in regards to the functioning of the company, and also illustrates the responsibilities of Russia concerning the plant. The nuclear power reactors are said to be operating from the first of 2022. Through the implementation of this Act a rise in the supply of electricity to meet the rising demand is hoped to be achieved.
|List of Laws:|
|* Metro Rail Act, 2015
* Bangladesh Energy and Power Resource Council Act,2015
* The Formalin Control Act, 2015
* The Official Vehicles (Regulation of Use) Act, 2015
* Bangladesh Oceanographic Research Institute Act, 2015
* Youth Organisations (Registration and Management) Act, 2015
* Appropriation (Supplementary) Act , 2015
* Finance Act, 2015
* Appropriation Act, 2015
* Khulna Agricultural University Act, 2015
* Export Promotion Bureau Act, 2015
* International Finance Corporation Act, 2015
* Financial Reporting Act, 2015
* The Bangladesh Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Act, 2015
* Nuclear Power Plant Act, 2015
* The Development Surcharge and Levy (Imposition and Collection) Act, 2015
* Public Servants (Marriage with Foreign Nationals), 2015
The Formalin Control Act, 2015 which introduced the highly awaited punishment for importing, producing and storing of preservatives without licence will bring the use and business of formalin under a legal framework. Furthermore, the call for construction, operation, maintenance and control of the much anticipated Metro rail has been validated by passing of The Metro Rail Act, 2015. The Law will substantiate the government's initiatives to ease traffic congestion of Dhaka which is a well-timed step right now.
While Acts like these will have a direct impact on citizen's everyday lives, we saw the enactment of long-term proposals for developments through Bangladesh Oceanographic Research Institute Act, 2015 which became an opportune need as soon as Bangladesh settled its maritime boundaries with India. This will materialise into a research facility based at Cox's Bazar's Ramu Upazila for properly collecting and using maritime resources.
Reflecting the government's pledge to bolster research prospects, Bangladesh Energy and Power Research Council Act, 2015 was passed to particularly focus at the energy and power sector. Needless to say this will pave the way to sustainable industrial growth which lately Bangladesh has shown great prospects for. Along the same lines, Khulna Agricultural University Act, 2015 will supplement the ways for innovating the much needed new technologies for increasing agricultural production in Bangladesh.
Additionally, we have observed the legislature trying to modify a few managerial issues through Acts such as Youth Organisations (Registration and Management) Act, 2015. This one will see to the conventional problems arising out of random, unregistered non-political youth organisations and regulate their functions through National Youth Council.
On a more commercially saturated aspect, this year Financial Reporting Act was enacted to promote accountability, lucidity and transparency in regards to financial reporting activities. Under this Act, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), will be the administrative and regulatory body of organisations involved in accounting and auditing of financial. Moreover, this body will also administer different government, autonomous and non-government institutions.Now, all such institutions will have to register with FRC, in absence of which they will be barred from operating and proving services to any entity with public interest. Thus, this Act brought such financing institutions under strong scrutiny and supervision. The Development Surcharge and Levy (Imposition and Collection) Act, 2015 will impose 1 per cent development surcharge on cell phone usage which in effect will generate Tk 140 crore to potentially Tk 200 crore after inclusion of the other services.
As the summary indicates, a number of pressing issues have been attended by the government in 2015 with notable effort in sectors of research and finance. For people on the other end of the legislators, some of the Acts were reasonably expected, specially those promising to bring an end to the intricacy created by traffic congestion, unhealthy aftermath of harmfully preserved food etc. However, the success of the legislations is only halfway achieved unless the laws are accurately implemented and that is the next big challenge of 2016.
The writers are students of law, university of london international programmes.