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City polls within 3 months before tenure ends

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:48, Sep 15,2020

 
 

The cabinet on Monday approved in principle the draft Local Government (City Corporation) (Amendment) Bill, 2020 allowing holding of the city corporation elections within three months before the expiry of their five-year tenure instead of six months as per the existing law of 2009.

The draft amendments also proposed that the elected representatives of the city bodies — mayors and councillors — would hold the first meeting of the corporation within 15 days of taking oath of office.

‘The cabinet has endorsed the proposed amendments allowing holding the city corporation elections within 90 days before the expiry of their tenure as the existing provision of 180 days often creates a long gap in the handover of charge after the election process is over,’ cabinet secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told a press briefing at the Secretariat.

They would not now need to wait for a long time to take over after the election, he added.

He said that the elected representatives would have to hold the first meeting within 15 days of their taking oath of office as the tenure began from the date. 

The cabinet secretary said that the mayors and the councillors, as per the existing law, were entitled to a three-month leave a year, which was proposed to be one month in the draft bill on the grounds that the elected representatives were engaged in many important public functions. 

‘They would now be able to enjoy a maximum one-month leave instead of three months a year,’ he added.

The Local Government Division placed the amendment bill in the virtual weekly cabinet meeting chaired by prime minister Sheikh Hasina from her residence Ganabhaban while ministers joined it from the Secretariat.  

The cabinet approved the draft Preferential Trade Agreement to be signed between Bangladesh and Bhutan and also endorsed the ratification of the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-Border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific — both placed by the commerce ministry.

Anwarul said that 18 goods from Bhutan had now been enjoying duty-free access to the Bangladesh market since 2010, while 90 Bangladeshi products enjoyed such access to the Bhutanese market.

The issue had long been in discussion as Bhutan was asking for duty-free access for more items to the Bangladesh market, he added. 

The cabinet meeting was informed that another spell of flood was feared to hit the country this month, but the latest data showed that Bangladesh might not face fresh flooding, the cabinet secretary said.

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