The Cabinet yesterday approved the draft of the ‘National Integrated Multimodal Transport Policy, 2013’ which aims at making the country’s multimodal transport system more cost-effective, safe and efficient.
The approval came from 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 M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said the draft of the policy was given approval in light with the government’s bid for sustainable development, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Sixth Five-Year Plan (SFYP) and the Perspective Plan.
He said the country’s communication system is now very much dependent on road transport. The integrated policy would also prioritize on rail and river communication.
Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said the major objectives of the policy are to make the transport system more affordable, efficient and environment- friendly by reducing transport cost and accidents, enhancing competitive edge and developing services industries apart from development of roads, rail, domestic river ports, sea ports and human resource development.
He said that to monitor the policy, a cabinet committee will be formed by the Prime Minister under which another National Multimodal Transport Coordination Committee will be formed. This committee will report to the Cabinet committee.
The National Integrated Multimodal Transport Policy will also highlight mass transport system along with urban transport apart from increasing the participation of the private sector.
Besides, emphasis will be given on regional cooperation for effective transport, ensuring land use plan, ensuring proper training for the transport workers as well as ensuring due facilities to the women, senior citizens and physically challenged people while availing their transport.
The Cabinet gave nod to the draft of the ‘Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-BCSIR, Bill, 2013’ increasing the retirement age of its scientists and researchers to 67 years to utilize their specialized knowledge.
Under the proposed law, the BCISR could search scientists and researchers, could give fellowship to the scientists and researchers, establish scientific centre, arrange innovative exhibition and could undertake subject based project.
After the enactment of the law, the BCISR will be more effective and could contribute further in the field of science and research.
The Cabinet also approved the draft of the ‘Bangladesh Handloom Board Bill, 2013’ subject to vetting of the legislative wing of the Law Ministry to make the existing law of 1977 more time befitting for the flourishing of handloom industry.
The proposed law has relaxed the provision of holding the monthly meeting of the Board as the meeting could now be held every two months. But, if necessary, the authorities could hold the meeting as per their need. The proposed law has been formulated in Bangla as per the higher court verdict.
The Cabinet was apprised about the participation of Bangladesh delegation headed by Commerce Minister at the first Trade Minister’s Council (TMC) of Developing-8, Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) held in Nigeria on June 25, 2013.
Ministers, Advisers to the Prime Minister, State Ministers and Secretaries concerned attended the meeting.