The "Zila Parishad (Amendment) Bill-2022" has been placed in parliament with a provision that the government will appoint an administrator to run a Zila Parishad when its term expires.
On Sunday, Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Tajul Islam placed the bill which was sent to the parliamentary committee that is supposed to submit its report within the next seven days.
The proposed amendment called for the formation of district councils with one member and a chairman in each upazila of a district with one-third of all members being women members.
According to the existing law of the district council, each district has 21 members – a chairman, 15 members and five reserved women members. In the proposed bill, the chairmen, executive officers and mayors of upazila councils can participate in council meetings but will not have the right to vote.
The existing law calls on the Election Commission to compile the voter list, but the proposed law excludes the commission.
By law, mayors and councillors of city corporations in a district (if any), chairmen and vice-chairmen of upazila councils, mayors and councillors of municipalities, and chairmen and members of union councils, are district council voters.
The government is closely monitoring the activities of district councils and it has been proposed that a sub-section be added to section-37 of the existing law. The council would submit an annual report on its activities to the government within 90 days of the end of each financial year, read the proposed bill.
The bill also proposes changing the posts of existing officers and instead of a "council secretary", there will be an "executive officer" of the council.
The existing law only provides for the appointment of administrators for the formation of new district councils. The proposed bill provides for the appointment of administrators by the government after the expiration of the term of a district council.
Amending section-82 of the existing law has been proposed. As such, after the expiration of the term of a district council and until the formation of the next council, the government may appoint a suitable person or an official of the republic to perform the functions of the council. The tenure and resignation of the administrator will be determined by the government.
In a statement on the purpose of the bill, the local government minister said the existing law has 21 members in all district councils irrespective of district size, population, and the number of upazilas. But the revenue sources of the small district councils are much less than that of larger ones.
As a result, small district councils can't allocate sufficient funds for development work after paying honorariums to members and incurring other administrative expenses. To overcome this problem, it is necessary to determine the number of members of each district council logically.
Trade Organisation Bill-2022
On Sunday, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi also raised the issue of Trade Organisation Bill-2022 in parliament with the prospect of forming a joint trade organisation with foreign businessmen.
The bill has been placed to repeal the Trade Organisation Ordinance of 1961 and enact new laws in Bangla.
The bill provides a legal basis for women entrepreneurs to become members of trade organisations with licensing. Provision has been made for a joint chamber of commerce and industry and a chamber of commerce and industry alliance consisting of multiple joint chambers of commerce and industry to represent businesses, industry or the trade and service sector in any country or region having diplomatic or trade relations with Bangladesh.
Foreign traders coming to Bangladesh from other countries will be able to form a joint chamber. However, in this case, an opinion of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs will be required.
No organisation or company other than trade organisations may use the words "Federation", "Chamber", "Council", "Group", or "Alliance".
The bill also states that no person may be a member of any organisation other than the business class specified in the trade license. Also, none can be a member of any chamber other than the district or metropolitan chamber mentioned in the trade license.
The bill states that trade organisations must obtain a certificate and registration from the government.
The bill was sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Commerce for a review report within 30 days.