The 'Mongla Port Authority Bill, 2021' was placed in the Parliament today with a provision for tougher punishment for polluting environment.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury placed the bill which was sent to the parliamentary standing committee on shipping for further scrutiny.
The parliamentary watchdog was asked to submit its report before the parliament within two months.
The bill will abolish the Chalna Port Authority Ordinance 1976, which was promulgated during a military regime.
As per the bill, the punishment for harming the environment by polluting water, land and coast would be raised to a one-year imprisonment or a fine of Tk five lakh or both. The fine is Tk 50,000 in the existing ordinance.
According to a new provision incorporated in the bill, the punishment for dodging toll, fee and other charges of the port will be one-year jail or a fine of Tk one lakh or both.
If anyone defies the law, he will be sentenced to six months in jail or be fined Tk two lakh or both.
In the existing ordinance, the punishment is only six-month jail and a fine of Tk 50,000.
Besides, some new terminologies like 'inland water vessel', 'terminal', 'berth', container freight station' and 'lease' have been incorporated in the bill.
According to the bill, there will be a seven-member board to run the port. The number of the board members is now four in the existing ordinance.
The port authority can declare the restricted port area through a special order.