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Cabinet approves Sheikh Hasina Agricultural University Bill

Campus 2023-01-09, 10:04pm


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the weekly Cabinet meeting at her office on Monday. PID

Jehangir Hussain

The Cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday approved  Sheikh Hasina Agricultural University Bill 2023 to establish the country’s 9th agricultural university in Shariatpur.

The meeting held Primed Minister’s Office also  approved draft Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Amendment) Act 2023 to legalise  Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Amendment) Ordinance 2022 issued on December 1, 2022, which empowered the government to change gas and power tariffs bypassing Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) and public hearings.

The meeting approved draft National Agricultural Marketing Policy 2023 to modernise  marketing system and ensure maximum benefits to the farmers through different measures including fixation of minimum and maximum rational prices of farm produces.

The meeting over, Cabinet Secretary Mahbub Hossain told reporters at a news briefing at  Secretariat, “The National Agricultural Marketing Policy incorporates specific goals  to modernise the marketing system of agricultural produces, focusing  on how the agricultural market can be monitored to provide maximum benefits to farmers.”

“Steps will be taken to fix and implement the minimum and maximum rational prices of agricultural produces,” he said.

He said that other steps would be taken according to the proposed policy including enhancement of  links between the farmers and markets, strengthen information management, improve marketing infrastructures, promote digital markets, strengthen community-based, group-based and contract-based marketing, promoting e-agricultural marketing system and digital markets, and to develop the  supply chain.

He said that the Prime Minister also gave the directive to prepare an agricultural goods-processing policy to modernise the sector, ensure international standards of products to promote export of processed farm produces.

He said that the directive was issued also because Bangladeshis living abroad consume the country’s farm produces.

He said that the Prime Minister issued a directive  to treat jute goods as farm products and provide full support to jute and jute goods.

Jute goods need to be treated as agricultural products  to unlock their  prospects, he said.

He said that the proposed Sheikh Hasina Agricultural University Act stipulates establishment of a new agricultural university in the pattern of existing  agricultural universities in the country.

The Cabinet approved draft Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Amendment) Act 2023 to replace the ordinance with the same name that empowered the government to adjust gas and electricity prices bypassing the BERC public hearings.

On December 1, 2022, the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2022 was promulgated amending the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Act 2003. The ordinance was placed in Parliament on January 5.

The approval paved the way to turn the ordinance  into an act. No change was brought to the ordinance, he said.