Government Policy

National Service Programme expanded to 64 more UZs

The cabinet today approved a proposal for expansion of "The National Service Programme" to 64 more upazilas of the country including four upazilas of the three hill districts aimed at creating more employment opportunities for the youths.

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 that the National Service Programme would be expanded under the 5th, 6th and 7th phases to poverty-prone 64 upazilas including two of Khagrachhari and one each from Bandarban and Rangamati districts.

"Of them, 20 upazilas each would be selected under the 5th, 6th and 7th phases respectively and four upazilas from three hill districts would be selected in these three phases," he said.

The cabinet secretary said under the programme, educated unemployed youths would be imparted training for three months from May 2017 and they would get Tk 100 daily as training allowance.

Alam said on completion of the training period, the youths would get jobs in various government offices for two years under a "payroll system" and they would get Tk 200 per day as wage during the time.

For the purpose, the government will have to spend about Tk 544. 90 crore, he said, adding that some Tk 215 crore are currently available for the purpose, while the government will have to provide Tk 330 crore more to implement the programme.

The cabinet secretary said under the first phase of the programme, 56,801 youths undertook training from 19 upazilas of Kurigram, Gopalganj and Barguna districts while some 56,054 of them got jobs under the National Service Programme.

Besides, in the second, third and fourth phases, a total of 1,11,116 youths from 37 upazilas of the country were provided training under the programme and of them, 1,0,8,782 youths got jobs for two years in government offices on payroll.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the National Service Programme at a function in Kurigram on March 6, 2010 as part of fulfilling her election pledge to create employment for every house.

Alam said the cabinet also gave the final approval to the draft of the "Palli Sanchay Bank (amendment) Ordinance, 2016" withdrawing the time bar for merging the "One House One Farm Project" with the Palli Sanchay Bank.

The cabinet secretary said that the Palli Sanchay Bank has a relation with the One House One Farm Project as the bank was established from this project in 2014.

But, the project was supposed to end on June 30, 2016 and thereafter was also scheduled to be merged with the Palli Sanchay Bank. "Since there was not enough preparations, a proposal was made in the cabinet to change sub section 1 (Ka) of the Section 39 withdrawing the time bar and the Cabinet approved it," he said.

Alam said that when the government would fix the fresh timeframe, then the One House One Farm Project would be merged with the bank.

He also said that this amendment to the Ordinance would not come under the Microcredit Regulatory Authority Act of 2006 as it will run under the cooperatives management.

The cabinet secretary also said that since parliament is not in session now, the law would be promulgated as an ordinance.

He said the cabinet also endorsed the draft of "The National Curriculum and Textbooks Board Law, 2016" drafting it in Bangla and bringing some changes in the existing ordinance of 1983.

Under the proposed law, Alam said, that as per the section 2 (Uma), any educational institution be it in the form of school or madrasah and also established by the law, would be regarded as a school where education is being provided from pre-primary to class twelve.

Besides, according to the Section 2 (Cha) of the proposed new law, any textbook has been defined as a textbook from primary to twelve class.

The cabinet secretary said that the new law also expanded the National Curriculum and Textbooks Board to a nine-member body with its chairman as its head and eight other members.

He said that the quorum for holding a meeting would be fulfilled if at least four members attend a meeting, while usually the chairman would preside over a meeting. In case of absence of the chairman, the senior most member would chair the meeting.

Alam said the cabinet also approved the draft of "The National Organic Agriculture Policy" aimed at promoting use of "organic and balanced" fertilizers.

He said the policy has focused on increasing use of "organic and balanced" fertilizers in the country to compensate the land erosion and reduction of fertility of land due to use of chemical fertilizers.

The cabinet secretary said there is a guideline in the policy to check any negative impact on the quality of the soil, agriculture and environment.

Highlighting various features of the policy, Alam said there are six articles in the policy.

Alam said a total of 87 countries of the world have so far adopted such a policy and Bangladesh has framed the "The National Organic Agriculture Policy" following the policy of those countries.

The cabinet secretary said the cabinet also approved the draft of Memorandum of Understanding for Establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection to be signed by the member states of the BIMSTEC.

The cabinet also adopted a condolence motion at the death of National Professor and legendary child specialist Dr MR Khan alongside at the deaths of Dr Fazlul Azim and Dr Abul Kashem.\\\

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)