Autonomous, legislative and local govt bodies must have prior clearance for expenditures, Cabinet decides

The autonomous, legislative and local government bodies will need clearance from the Finance Division over financial expenditures as the Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of Public Service (Amendment) Act, 2022, incorporating such provisions.

The approval came from the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office.
“In the existing Public Service Act, 2018, now the Finance Division has authority over the financial matters of the government entities, officials and employees, but it was not clear what would be involvement of the Finance Division regarding the autonomous, legislative and local government bodies,” said Cabinet secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam while briefing reporters at the Bangladesh secretariat.

Explaining the provision, he said that the public universities, the Election Commission, or local bodies like city corporations and union parishads will have to take opinions of the Finance Division over their financial expenditures. “So, the Finance Division will have a say” he added.

The Cabinet Secretary, however, said it had been mandatory too for the autonomous, legislative and local government bodies to take clearance from the Finance Division before, but the enactment of the existing law in 2018 made it unclear.

The meeting also approved the proposal to sign an agreement between Bangladesh and Iran to avoid the double taxation and prevent dodges of revenue.

The meeting approved the proposal to ratify the Minamata Convention on Mercury, an international treaty adopted in 2013 in Japan to protect humans and the environment from harmful effects of mercury pollution.

The treaty came into full force in 2017 with 137 countries participating in the convention. The treaty banned the opening of new mercury mines. It also required existing mines to be phased out and the use of mercury in products to be restricted.

The total mercury release in Bangladesh is approximately 32,660kg per year, which polluted the environment, said Anwarul Islam.

The Cabinet also cleared another proposal to ratify the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The protocol, which is also known as the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), was adopted in 2010 as a supplementary agreement to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

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