Bill okays bill to tighten Central Bank control on Grameen Bank

Bill okays bill to tighten Central Bank control on Grameen Bank

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Dhaka – The cabinet on Thursday approved a draft of the Grameen Bank Bill-2013 with some amendments for bringing change in the bank’s
capital structure, management system and other necessary regulations.
The approval was given at the weekly meeting of the cabinet at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The meeting also approved seven other draft laws and one policy.
The cabinet adopted a proposal extending thanks to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her receiving the South South Award in recognition of
Bangladesh’s success in achieving millennium development goals (MDGs) and reducing poverty.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, cabinet secretary M Mosharraf Hossain said, the draft of the Grameen Bank Act-2013 has been made in
Bangla revising the Grameen Bank Ordinance, 1983 under which the bank was established.
He said all recent amendments the government brought with regard to the Grameen Bank were incorporated in the draft.
The cabinet secretary said, the act proposed raising the authorized capital of the bank to Taka 1,000 crore from existing Taka 300 crore
while paid up capital to Taka 300 crore from Taka 50 crore.
He said fixing the tenure of a director at three years, the draft also proposed that the bank must submit its annual statement and income tax
return to the government as well as the central bank. The bank however will continue to enjoy tax exemption on its earnings, he added.
Mosharraf said, the law proposed monitoring the system so that no debtor is harassed. In case of giving any false information to allure
the debtors to take loan, the Grameen Bank Act 2013 proposed one year rigorous imprisonment or Taka 10,000 penalty or both, he said.
The act prohibited the use of the name of Grameen Bank by anybody in any advertisement or prospectus without written permission from the
bank. For violating the law, one will be jailed for one year or fined Taka one lakh or incur both the penalties, the law proposed.
Asked whether Bangladesh Bank was empowered through the amendments, the cabinet secretary said the bank was given some specific
responsibilities.
The seven other acts drafts of which were approved by the cabinet are: Trading Corporation of Bangladesh Order (amendment) Act 2013,
Geographical Indicative Goods (registration and protection) Act 2013, Edible Oil Vitamin-A Enriching Act 2013, Jessore University of Science
and Technology (amendment) Act 2013, Bangladesh Higher Education Commission Act, 2013, Legal Aid Assistance (amendment) Act-2013 and
Brick and Brick Field (control) Act 2013. The draft of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh Order (amendment) Act 2013 proposed enhancing its capital to Taka 1,000 crore from current Taka five crore and giving authority to create buffer stocks of essential goods and their marketing.
The government, if it likes, would import any essential items to control its market and price, according to the proposed law.
Besides, the law proposed reconstitution of the TCB Board with its chairman, two directors and two officials from the Ministry of Commerce.
The cabinet approved the draft of the National Export Trophy Policy, 2013 which proposed considering the service sector and women
entrepreneurship as separate areas for the trophy.
The cabinet meeting also approved the list of the public holidays for the year 2014.
According to the list, a total of 22 days will be public holidays in 2014, out of which 14 days are general holidays and eight days will be
holidays under the executive order.  The general holidays are applicable for all government, semi government and autonomous bodies
and private offices while holidays under executive order are not compulsory for private offices. – Staff Reporter

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