Cabinet approves draft National Film Policy

DHAKA, April 3, 2017 (BSS) - The cabinet today approved the draft of "The National Film Policy, 2017" aimed at promoting making of healthy films by upholding the spirit, ideology and history of the War of Liberation as well as country's culture and tradition.

The approval was given at the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said the draft law has been formulated to encourage filmmakers to produce new movies highlighting true history of the 1971 Liberation War and upholding the basic principles of running the state.

"It was very significant that the proposed draft law was approved by the cabinet on April 3 coinciding with the National Film Day," he said.

Alam added: "the aim of the draft policy is also to promote making films on ideals, spirit and history of the War of Liberation and provide education and entertainment-oriented movies in the film industry."

The draft policy would also encourage the people in resisting religious extremism, he said, while bar shooting and use dialogues and activities in the films which could inspire the people in such wrongdoings.

"Besides, according to the proposed policy, film makers could not show rape scenes in their films," Alam said.

About the standard of making films, the Cabinet Secretary said filmmakers

must ensure objectivity of the information, their professional morality and neutrality as well as responsibilities for making and distribution of films.

Besides, the dialogue or statement that would go against the state or the people and misleading information could not be used in films.

The Cabinet Secretary said a 15-member Advisory Committee to be headed by the Information Minister would give advices on filmmaking in the light of the National Film Policy.

Moreover, there will be another committee headed by an Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Information to make recommendations on export and import of films, he said.

As per the draft policy, Alam said, legal action could be taken to preserve Intellectual Rights and Copyrights on films as well as to prevent their piracy.

"The new policy would also encourage joint venture investment for the development of the film industry," he added.

The cabinet secretary said that "Certification System" would be introduced gradually instead of existing "censorship system" in the light of policies of other countries.

The cabinet today also gave the final approval to the draft of "The Immovable Asset Acquisition and Requisition Law, 2017".

The revised law increased the amount of compensation for acquired land and kept a provision for acquiring land of place of worships like mosques, temples, pagodas, graveyards, crematorium for "indispensable public interest".

Alam said that the existing law was an ordinance promulgated in 1982, and the Ministry of Land placed the draft law before the Cabinet in line with its the earlier decision to transform all the ordinances into acts after translating those into Bangla following the higher court verdict.

The cabinet secretary said that it was earlier mentioned in the Ordinance that the land of place of worships like mosques, temples, pagodas as well as graveyard and crematorium could not be acquired.

But, as per the Section 4(13) of the proposed law, such land could be acquired if it is indispensable for public interest and the persons and organizations willing to acquire land would relocate or rebuild those with their own fund.

The cabinet secretary said that the organizations concerned will to acquire land would get some 120 days timeframe instead of the existing 60 days to provide the amount of compensation to the concerned Deputy Commissioners for land requisition.

He said that if the government acquires land, then the affected person would get compensation of three times higher than that of the market price of the land.

Besides, if any private organization acquires land for public interest on purposes like setting up a school, the affected person would get compensation of four times higher than the market price.

Alam said that the market price of the acquired land is being calculated on the average selling price of land of that area for the last 12 months.

The cabinet also approved the draft of "The Agreement between The Government of The People's Republic of Bangladesh and The Government of The Republic of India for the Regulation of Motor Vehicle Passenger Traffic" between the two countries.

It also gave a nod to the draft of "The Protocol on Operation of Passenger Bus Service between Dhaka in Bangladesh and Kolkata in India via Khulna in terms of the aforementioned agreement".

The agreement and protocol could be signed during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India or later, the cabinet secretary said.

The cabinet secretary said Dhaka-Kolkata route bus is now plying through Bangabandhu Bridge, Hatikumrul of Sirajganj and Jessore.

But when the protocol will come into effective, he said, another Dhaka-Kolkata route bus will be introduced.

The new bus service would ply through Mawa, Gopalganj, Khulna and Jessore reducing 96 kilometre distance from the current route.

The cabinet secretary said the new Dhaka-Kolkata bus service would be inaugurated by the prime ministers of Bangladesh and India through videoconferencing.

Alam said the cabinet also endorsed a proposal for declaration of the National Public Service Day on July 23.

The cabinet adopted a thanksgiving motion congratulating Saima Wazed Hossain, chairperson of Bangladesh National Advisory Committee for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, as she has been designated as "WHO Champion for Autism" in South-East Asia Region.

WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, located in New Delhi, made the announcement on Saturday on the occasion of the World Autism Day observed worldwide on April 2.

Ministers and state ministers concerned attended the meeting, while secretaries concerned were present.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)