Dhaka, Sept 17 (UNB) - The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministry on Monday submitted its scrutiny report on the much-talked-about ‘The Digital Security Bill, 2018’ in Parliament.
Chairman of the parliamentary watchdog Imran Ahmed placed the report in the House.
The Bill was placed in the House on April 9 aiming to deal with cybercrimes, including hurting the religious sentiment, negative propaganda against the Liberation War and Bangabandhu, and illegal activities in e-transactions and spreading defamatory data.
The JS body proposed inclusion of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 in the bill where any offence will be committed under the law using computer, digital device, computer network, digital network or any other digital means.
The punishment for this offence will be not more than 14 years of imprisonment or not more than Tk 25 lakh as fine or both.
If a person commits the same offence for more than once, the punishment will be lifetime imprisonment or not more than Tk 1 crore fine or both.
In the report, the committee suggested inclusion of the definition of “spirit of Liberation War” under section 21.
The definition of the spirit of the Liberation War as proposed by the committee is: “The high ideals of nationalism, socialism, democracy and secularism, which inspired our heroic people to dedicate themselves to, and our brave martyrs to sacrifice their lives in the national liberation struggle.”
It also proposed inclusion of the Right to Information Act (RTI) under section 3 in case of right to information-related matter.
The parliamentary watchdog kept the section 43 that says a police official can search or arrest anyone without any warrant issued by a court and police would carry out the job following the proposed security council’s director general's approval.
The committee, however, reduced the jail term to 10 years from 14 years for spreading negative propaganda against the Liberation War or Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman using digital devices. The fine for this kind of offence remains the same at Tk 1 crore.
Earlier, the proposed law made many crimes cognisable and nonbailable offences.
In the proposed bill, digital, database and critical information infrastructure have been defined.
As per the bill, digital forensic labs, and a digital security agency under the Prime Minister’s Office will be set up, while a national computer emergency response team and an 11-member digital security council, headed by the Prime Minister, will be constituted.
If any person commits the offence for second time or more, the punishment will be lifetime imprisonment or fine Tk 3 crore or both.
The punishment for illegal access to critical information infrastructure (CII) is maximum seven-year of imprisonment or Tk 25 lakh fine or both, while that for damaging the CII through illegal access is maximum 14 years’ imprisonment, or Tk 1 crore fine or both.
If the offence is committed by the same person for second time or more, the punishment will be lifetime imprisonment or Tk 2.5 crore fine or both.
The punishment for resorting to cyber violence which will jeopardise integrity or security or sovereignty of the state, intimidate people or any section of people, impede legitimised access to computer, computer network or internet is maximum 14 years’ imprisonment or maximum Tk 1 crore fine or both.
The punishment for hurting religious values and sentiment is maximum 10-year imprisonment, or Tk 20 lakh fine or both.
The punishment for providing or spreading defamatory data is maximum three-year jail or maximum Tk 500,000 fine or both, while that for destroying communal harmony is maximum seven years’ imprisonment, Tk 500,000 fine or both.
The punishment for illegal activities using e-transaction services of bank, insurance, financial institution and any other organisation is maximum five years’ imprisonment, Tk 500,000 fine or both.
The punishment for resorting to cyber hacking is maximum 14 years imprisonment and Tk one crore fine, or both.
Resorting to digital theft by capturing any confidential information of government and semi-government, autonomous and statuary bodies by using computer, computer network, digital network or any other electronic devices through illegal access is a cognisable offence.
The offences under sections 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34 of the proposed law are cognisable and non-bailable, while the offences under sections 20, 25, 29 and 48 are bailable ones.
Dhaka, Sept 17 (UNB)- ‘The National Academy for Planning and Development Bill, 2018’ was passed in the Parliament on Monday aiming at establishing a national institute for giving time befitting training to create skilled manpower.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal moved the Bill in the Parliament and it was passed by voice vote.
The headquarters of the Academy will be established in Dhaka and if necessary its branches will be established in any place of the country taking prior permission from the government.
There will be a 15-member Board of Directors including chairman and vice chairman.
Relevant minister and state minister will be made the chairman and vice-chairman of the institution, while its director general will act its member secretary.
There will be a director general for the Academy.
The Parliament also passed the ‘The Hindu Religious Welfare Trust Bill, 2018’. Religious Affairs Minister Principal Motiur Rahman moved the bill and it was passed by voice vote.
As per earlier directives of the Supreme Court that had declared all martial law regimes ordinances illegal, the draft law was placed before the Cabinet translating the original law into Bangla as well as widening the area of its jurisdiction.
Sangsad Bhaban, Sept 17 (UNB) - A bill titled 'The Communicable Diseases Prevention, Control and Eradication Bill, 2018' was placed before the Parliament on Monday.
State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque on behalf of Health Minister Mohammad Nasim placed the Bill and it was sent to the respective Parliamentary Standing Committee. The Committee was asked to submit its report within 20 working days.
The proposed law is aimed at tackling any emergency situation related to public health by checking and eradicating all contagious diseases.
Another goal of the draft law is to protect people from communicable diseases as well as taking proper measures to create mass awareness about germs related to diseases like Kala-Azar, HIV, Influenza, Nipah, Ebola, and Typhoid.
The draft law was prepared merging the existing 'The Bangladesh Malaria Eradication Board (Repeal) Ordinance, 1977' and 'Prevention of Malaria (Special Provisions) Ordinance, 1978'.
As per earlier directives of the Supreme Court that had declared all martial law regimes ordinances illegal, the draft law was placed before the Cabinet translating the original law in to Bangla as well as widening the area of its jurisdiction to cover all the contagious diseases.
Under the proposed law, a patient or the affected person will have to be screened and isolated to protect common people from being affected.
The affected person will also have to be examined in the related and specified institutes to detect the type of disease.
Dhaka, Sept 17 (UNB) - Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council, a platform which leads the quota reform movement, on Monday announced to continue its protest until its demands are met.
Hasan Al Mamun, convener of the platform, came up with the announcement at a press conference held in front of the Dhaka University (DU) Central Library around 5pm.
The press conference was arranged soon after the body, formed by the government to review the existing quota system in public service, recommended abolishing the quota system from 9th to 13th grades (1st class and 2nd class) of government jobs.
“We submitted our report to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (Monday). Our proposal is that there shouldn’t be quota in the public recruitment for 9th to13th grades, meaning previous 1st class and 2nd class jobs," Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said while briefing reporters at the Secretariat over the Cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Talking about the freedom fighters’ quota, he said, “We’ve taken opinions of legal experts when they said it’s a policy decision of the government and there’s a court verdict which shouldn’t be disobeyed.”
Mamun said, “Our message is clear. We always wanted reforms of the quota system, not abolishment. But if the government wants to abolish the quota system, it can do it."
He urged the government to withdraw all ‘false’ cases filed against students, punish those assaulted students during the movement and publish the gazette notification on the quota reforms as soon as possible.
Announcing to hold a protest rally in the city on Tuesday, the platform convener said, "We won’t go back to classes unless our demands are met."
Omar Faruq, a joint convener of the platform, said they welcome the recommendations to abolish the quota system. “But we can’t be assured until the gazette is published.”
Some other leaders and supporters of the quota reform platform were present at the press conference.
Dhaka, Sep 17 (UNB) – Finance Minister AMA Muhith has sought cooperation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to increase the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.
“We need all kinds of assistance in all sectors in both public and private sectors. We need deeper engagement of IFC,” he said while addressing at a workshop on ‘Investment Process and IFC Strategy for 2017-21’ at Sonargaon Hotel in the city on Monday.
IFC, the World Bank’s private lending wing, and Economic Relation Division (ERD) jointly organised the workshop to provide understanding about the work procedures, and also product and services of the multilateral funding agency.
With ERD secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam in the chair, the workshop was also addressed by Wendy Werner, IFC country manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal and Mengistu Alemayehu, South Asia regional director of the funding agency.
Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) executive chairman Kazi Aminul Islam was also present at the function.
Muhith said the country has just started getting some FDI and at this very complex period, “we need assistance in bigger way from IFC.”
He said there is a happy relation with the IFC and such relation is very important.
“We think the private sector should be assisted by the banks and financing agencies. That’s why we developed relationship with IFC”, he said.
He mentioned that as a nation Bangladesh is committed to welfare of the country. “Since we are committed, we need all kinds of assistance for welfare of the country”.
Kazi Shofiqul Azam said Bangladesh needs to raise the private investment to 35 percent of the GDP to achieve the double digit growth to become a developed nation by 2041.
He said the private investors should be assisted by the IFC and all potentials of the private sector to be utilised.
He said there are some unresolved issues in engagement of IFC. “But those issues will be resolved soon”.
He said IFC’s advisory services are also very important for the private sector investors.
In the presentation, it was said that the IFC is expecting to extend its support in debt and equity finance to 4,343 MW base power supply and also the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.