Cabinet okays bill to ratify Montreal Convention

Tk 1.17 crore to be paid for death of each air passenger

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:57, Jan 21,2020


The cabinet on Monday gave the final approval to the draft of Carriage by Air (Montreal Convention 1999) Bill 2020, aiming at ensuring the rights of passengers and the security of baggage carried by the airlines operating flights to and from Bangladesh.

The civil aviation and tourism ministry placed the draft in the weekly cabinet meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her Tejgaon office, said cabinet secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam while briefing the press at the secretariat after the meeting.

‘The cabinet endorsed the draft bill ratifying the Montreal Convention 1999 and, if enacted, it will raise the compensation rates and ensure security of the baggage carried by air to and from Bangladesh,’ said Anwarul.

Though Bangladesh signed the convention in 1999, the country is yet to ratify the convention, that unified all international treaty regimes that had developed haphazardly since 1929, covering airline liabilities.

The bill proposed $ 1.38 lakh—equivalent to Tk 1.18 crore—for death and injury of an airlines passenger and $ 1,381 in damages for each kg of baggage lost or damaged in keeping with the convention, he said.

Now the compensation was maximum Tk 20 lakh for death or injury while Tk 1,700 for baggage lost or damaged as per The Carriage by Air Act 1934, The Carriage by Air (International Convention) Act 1966 and The Carriage by Air (Supplementary Convention) Act 1968, Anwarul said.

He said that all the three laws were incorporated in the draft bill.

The cabinet secretary said that the draft also proposed payment of $ 5,734 to a passenger by every airline for flight delays while the amount is now only $ 20.

Monday’s cabinet also approved the draft of The Bangladesh Travel Agencies (Registration and Control) (Amendment) Bill 2020, incorporating provisions that allows transfer of ownership, setting branch offices and renewal of licenses on expiry of date by pay fines, Anwarul said. 

It also endorsed Iodised Salt Bill 2020 and Chattogram Port Authority Bill 2020, he said.

The cabinet also approved the proposal to observe National Sports Day with International Day of Sports for Development and Peace on April 6, the cabinet secretary added.

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email