05 December 2011

Shipbreaking law comes into force in 10 days: Barua tells meeting

Bangladesh Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday expressed his hope of finalising the ‘Shipbreaking and Ship Recycling Rules-2011’ by next 10 days which he said would make the sector workers-friendly and green.

“The process of enacting the Shipbreaking and Ship Recycling Rules is about an end. We will be able to send it to the Law Ministry for vetting soon and I hope that its gazette notification be made by December 13,” he said at a view exchange meeting in Dhaka.

The Ministry of Industries arranged the meeting at a city hotel to receive recommendations from the stakeholders and experts in the sector before finalising the rule.

Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Commerce Ministry ABM Abul Kashem and Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President AK Azad were present as special guests at the function chaired by Industries Secretary KH Masud Siddiqui.

Deputy Secretary to the Industries Ministry Ziaur Rahman Khan made a power-point presentation on the draft rules.

Addressing the function as chief guest, Barua assured the sector insiders and stakeholders that their recommendations and proposals will be incorporated in the proposed law.

All the recommendations that came from the discussion will be accommodated in the rules while its existing inconsistencies will also be removed, he said.

Barua said maximum level of transparency will be maintained in the process of finalising the draft law.

He informed that since Bangladesh don’t have any mine for iron ore, shipbreaking industry is the lone source for iron meeting about 85% local demand.

He said the sector has created an employment opportunity for about 3 million people and raw materials source for more than 20,000 industries.

ABM Abul Kashem, MP, said there are many inconsistencies in the draft shipbreaking rules that should be removed before finalising it. FBCCI President AK Azad said technological development for scrapping ships should be ensured for the sector’s vibrancy.

He said insurance facility for the sector’s workers is a must and they should also be properly compensated in case of any accident.

Later, in an open discussion, stakeholders and experts came up with their recommendations about the new law, aimed to ensure growth of the sector and at the same time protect the environment and offer better deals to the workers.

On February 13 this year, the government declared the shipbreaking sector as an industry after a high-profile meeting attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, several ministers, advisers and other senior officials to discuss the sector's positive and negative sides.

The shipbreaking industry, located at the seashore in Chittagong, is the main source of bulk of the raw materials used by some 500 private sector re-rolling mills and nearly 50 steel mills for producing mild steel rods, bars and angles at affordable prices

Source: The Daily Sun. 5 December 2012

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