The government wants to bring e-commerce business under a strict monitoring and regulation system to stop fraudulence.
“E-commerce cannot be shut down. That’s why all of them need to be brought under a monitoring and registration system. The [process for] monitoring and registration has been sorted out,” said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam at a briefing yesterday after the cabinet meeting.
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The meeting held at the Secretariat was presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She joined the meeting virtually from the Gono Bhaban.
The cabinet discussed the e-commerce business at length, the cabinet secretary said, adding that a five-member committee was formed following a meeting chaired by the home minister a few days ago.
“Both the commerce minister and the secretary have told the cabinet that they have made much progress on the issue. They will make detailed proposals,” he said, adding that the committee is expected to submit the report within the next 20 days.
He said the Cabinet Division has held meetings on e-commerce business with intelligence agencies, Bangladesh Bank, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) and National Telecommunication Monitoring centre (NTMC).
“In the last two and a half months, we’ve seen that the e-commerce business has come under control,” he said.
Khandker also advised people to be more conscious when buying goods or availing service from such platforms.
He said the government is also developing a supervision mechanism for payment gateways.
APPROVAL OF DRAFT ACTS
The Cabinet Division approved in principle the draft Bangladesh Public Service Commission Act-2021, which contains the provision of a minimum three years’ and maximum 10 years’ imprisonment and fine to question leakers of public service recruitment tests.
The amount of fines is yet to be set.
There are also provisions for jail terms for examinees, examiners and exam operators for adopting unfair means, answer sheet forgeries and irregularities in the act, Khandker said.
“A hard stance has been taken to prevent question leaking.”
According to Section 8 of the draft act, an examinee found involved in unfair means in the PSC exam or anyone found to have committed forgery will be awarded a maximum two years’ imprisonment and/or fine.
Anyone who creates barriers to holding examinations will be handed a year’s imprisonment, he said. An exam conductor will get two years’ imprisonment if found guilty of committing irregularities.
Mobile courts can also conduct drives and hand out punishments.
“The current act does not have precise mentions of punishment. It was formulated in 1977. The context has changed over the years,”said Khandker.
Pointing to Section 4 of the draft act, he said there will be a chairman and a minimum of six and a maximum of 15 members in the commission.
Yesterday, the cabinet also approved the draft Zakat Fund Management Act-2021 in principle keeping the provision of collecting and distributing Zakat using information and communication technology by the government.
The act is formulated to encourage people to give zakat and anyone from home and abroad can donate at government-scheduled banks, the cabinet secretary said..
As per the act, a Zakat centre will be set up, fixing the amount of zakat of a person and issuing certificates to a person for giving zakat, he said.
“There is an obligation to every Muslim eligible for donating zakat. But if anyone finds it troublesome or not comfortable, they can give it to the government fund. Then it will become the government’s obligation,” he said.