Cabinet okays draft bill to ensure adequate iodine in salt , regulate salt market

The Cabinet on Wednesday gave the final approval to the draft of the Iodised Salt Bill, 2020, aiming to ensure proportionate mixture of iodine in salt and regulate the salt market in the country.


The approval came from the weekly Cabinet meeting held virtually with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.


The Prime Minister joined the meeting through a videoconference from her official residence Ganobhaban, while other cabinet members got connected from the Bangladesh Secretariat


“Under the proposed law, a 14-member national salt committee, headed by the Industries Secretary as its chairman, will be formed to oversee production, processing, refining, storage, transportation and marketing of salt, ensuring iodine in salt, supply iodine to the salt factory, regulating salt import, as well as to place recommendations over salt management policy,” said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam at a press briefing after the meeting.


He said there will be a separate cell under the Industries Ministry to ensure the standard iodine in salt.


“If anyone wants to produce, process, store, import, supply salt or set up a salt factory at consumer level, the concerned person will have to be registered under the proposed law,” said the Cabinet Secretary.


He said if anyone produces, processes and imports salt and runs iodised salt factory without registration, or doesn’t maintain the proper standard in salt, the person will be sentenced to one to three years of jail and fined Tk 50,000- Tk 15 lakh or both.


The law violators can be punished through  mobile courts, Khandker Anwarul Islam said.


Moreover, the Cabinet was informed about the Vision 2041 in Implementation: Bangladesh Perspective Plan 2021-2041.


As per the perspective plan placed by the Planning Ministry, Bangladesh wants to enter into the high middle income group by 2031 and the high income group or to be a developed country by 2041, said the Cabinet Secretary.


The perspective plan focused on four baselines ­–good governance, democratisation, decentralisation and skills development – to attain the targets.


According to the plan, Bangladesh needs to raise its economic growth rate to 9 percent to enter into the high middle income group by 2031, and to raise the per capita income to  US$ 12,500 alongside enhancing the growth rate to 9.9 percent to enter the developed group by 2041.


There will be four five-year plans during the perspective plan from 2021 to 2041 as the eight five-year plan is almost completed.


Now the GDP growth target for the current fiscal year of 2020-21 is 8.19 percent, which is projected to stand at 9 percent in 2031 and 9.9 percent in 2041 in the plan.


Noting that the inflation rate is 5.5 percent, he said the government will try to bring it down to 4.7 percent in 2031 and 4.5 percent in 2041 in line with the plan.


The top bureaucrat said now the extreme poverty rate is 9.38 percent and the plan has set a target to reduce it to 2.55 percent in 2031 and 0.68 percent in 2041.


He said the current poverty rate is 18.82 percent, but there is a target to reduce it to  7 percent in 2031 and 2.5 percent in 2041.


Source: United News of Bangladesh