Stern action to continue against food adulteration: PM
On 25 June 2014 Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Parliament stated that the government’s stern action against those involved in food adulteration would continue in future to safeguard the public health. Replying to a tabled question of treasury bench member Enamul Haque (Rajshahi-4), the Prime Minister informed the House that her government has taken various pragmatic measurers to ensure quality control of consumer goods and keep people away from the adulterated foods. She also informed that her government has formulated the Consumer Rights Protection Law 2009, established National Consumer Rights Protection Directorate, contained formalin import by the Ministry of Commerce, taken steps to formulate Formalin Control Law, 2013 and expedited market monitoring alongside conducting mass campaign against the social menaces. She informed the House that the Formalin Control Law is being framed keeping provisions of maximum life-term and minimum seven years’ imprisonment along with the highest 20 lakh BDT as fine and the lowest 5 lakh BDT for production, import, transportation and sale of formalin without valid license. In this connection, the Prime Minister declared that the concerned authorities have been monitoring markets daily across the country to this end. Moreover, the government has procured Digital Formaldehyde Meter to perceive the chemical in consumer items.
Health allocation not enough
On 4June a press meets on Bangladesh’s participation in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 67th summit. In the occasion the health minister Mohammed Nasim expressed his feelings about the budget allocation on the health sector. Health secretary M M Niazuddin and other high officials were present in the press-meet. The minister stated that more allocation to improve the hospital is needed. Bangladesh is the only country providing the cheapest medical care whereas the rich countries charge a lot more, he added. The minister informed that Bangladeshi health clinics provide almost free medical care to citizens; government hospitals, too, give free medical care, except in case of incurable diseases. The government had already begun distributing free health cards among the needy in three places in Tangail to give free medical care as part of a pilot project. Other places would come under the project in course of time. He said Bangladesh’s biggest achievement at the recent WHO summit was the unequivocal support extended to the country’s proposed resolution on “Comprehensive and Co-ordination Effort for The Management of Autism Spectrum Disorder. This resolution will help Least Developed Countries (LDCs) get technical and financial assistance in preventing and dealing with autism and all the member countries agreed to pass the resolution. The minister described the proposal as a big diplomatic success story stated that the World Bank would have to implement autism-related public health program in keeping with the terms of the resolution. Finally the minister informed the government will receive a fresh grant of $150 million from Global Fund to eradicate HIV, TB and malaria.