‘Life term imprisonment for formalin abuse’

Dhaka, BdChronicle:

Parliament on Monday passed the long-sought ‘Formalin Control Bill, 2015’ having a provision of maximum life term imprisonment and TK 20 lakh fine, aiming to control the misuse of formalin, including in food items.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed piloted the Bill in the House and it was passed by voice vote.

The draft law did not propose banning formalin it rather suggested tougher punishment to regulate its production, import, transport, stock, sale and use without license.

The law with six chapters and 39 sections has a provision of maximum seven years’ imprisonment, but not less than three years or TK five lakh fine, but not less than Tk two lakh or both in case of violating license terms.

For the sale or use of formalin without licence, the Bill proposed awarding maximum two years’ imprisonment or Tk four lakh fine or both.

It also kept a provision of maximum two years’ imprisonment or TK two lakh as fine for possessing equipment of formalin productions or allowing the use of house or land or machinery without having licence.

For transporting formalin or possessing it without having licence, the Bill says, the punishment would be two years’ imprisonment maximum or Tk three lakh fine or both.

The punishment for filing false cases or harassing anyone would be one year’s imprisonment or Tk two lkah fine or both. If any convicted person gets involved in such crimes again, the punishment will double.

In the objective of the Bill it was stated that formalin is a life-killing chemical. As a result, it has become urgent to formulate a law to control its misuse.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed placed the Bill in the House on January 21. It was then sent to the respective Parliamentary Standing Committee for further scrutiny. The Committee submitted its report on February 2.

In the statement of the Bill it said that formalin is a chemical that widely used as anti-perishable element for organic items.

Usually, laboratories, hospitals, tanneries, textiles, hatcheries and board industries used this item.

These days, some dishonest businesspeople misuse this item by using it in fruits, vegetables, fish and meat to protect these from perishing. As a result, people are being affected with various kinds of diseases, including cancer.

It also said formalin is a deadly chemical and that is why it is necessary to formulate a law to control the misuse of this element.

The objective of the Bill also mentioned that by formulating this law formalin use and business will come under a framework as well as transparency and accountability of marketing this item will be ensured. “As a result people will be benefited,” it said.

Source: BD Chronicle