The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of ‘The National Industrial Policy 2016’, aiming to facilitate the rapid industrialisation in the country through updating the existing one.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 government is going to frame the new policy updating the existing ‘The National Industrial Policy, 2010’ maintaining its continuity.
Under the new draft policy, he said, the industrial sector has been divided into five categories — high priority industries, priority industries, service industries, reserved industries and controlled industries.
In the manufacturing sector, the Cabinet Secretary further said, an industry with more than Tk 50 crore investment and over 300 manpower will be identified as a large one.
In the services sector, an organisation having a over a Tk 30 crore investment along with more than 120 manpower will be treated as a large industry.
Besides, an industry with more than Tk 15-crore investment along with 121 to 300 workers in the manufacturing sector will be called as a medium industry, while with an investment from Tk 2 crore to Tk 30 crore alongside 51 to 120 workers will be identified as a medium industry in the services sector.
Similarly, the ceiling of investment as well as of manpower has been raised in the new policy for the small and micro scale industries.
Shafiul Alam said knowledge and capital dependent high technology-based and environment-friendly industries as well as industries dependent on ITES development will be defined as hi-tech industries.
He said there are some provisions to give priorities to and incentives for the investors to bring dynamism in the industrialisation process like subsidy on capital investment, duty and tax rebate on produced goods and arrangement of refilling fees and charges on accreditation certificate.
Apart from these, the priority sectors will get special incentives like tax exemption and tax holiday, dual tax rebate and some other facilities under the existing laws of respective organisations.
The Bangladesh Bank will consider female entrepreneurs for incentives and assistance so that they get encouraged in establishing themselves in micro, small and cottage industries.
Shafiul Alam said if any foreigner invests 10 lakh dollars or transfer 20 lakh dollars to any recognised financial institution in Bangladesh, he or she will get Bangladesh citizenship. Currently, it is five lakh dollars and 10 lakh dollars respectively, he added.
To establish economic zones, the draft policy has the guidelines to set up infrastructures on Industrial Cluster and Industrial Park in impoverished areas as well as establish there labour intensive industries, he added.
The Cabinet Secretary said there is also a provision to allocate resources under government organisation and public private partnership initiative to establish industries in the country.
For the purpose, the proposed ‘Land Bank’ will be established using government’s Khas Land and land in Char areas, Shafiul Alam said.
The ministry concerned will extend all necessary cooperation, he said adding that the industrial village will be set up taking lands from the Land Bank.
The Cabinet also approved the draft of ‘PM’s Education Assistance Trust (Amendment) Law, 2016′ seeking to provide stipends to the students of masters, MPhil and PhD levels.
The Cabinet Secretary said that as per the existing law, the students up to graduation level were eligible for stipend but the students above this level were not eligible for it.
He also approved the law for including the students of postgraduate level and above under the stipend programme.
According to him, the Cabinet gave the final approval to the law subject to the Law Ministry’s vetting.
‘The Cantonments Law, 2016’ was also placed at Cabinet meeting.
After reviewing the law, the Cabinet opined that it will have to be brought before the cabinet after further analysis. So, a decision was taken to place the law after further examination, the Cabinet Secretary added.