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Draft of the Direct Sale Act, 2012 okayed
DHAKA, Sept 17,2012 (BSS)- The cabinet today approved in principle the draft of 'The Direct Sale Act, 2012' aimed at protecting people from cheating and checking the misuse of multilevel marketing (MLM) business through bringing the trade under a legal framework.

The approval was given at the regular cabinet meeting held at the secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

After the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Musharraf Hossian Bhuiyan briefing the newsmen said that the cabinet proposed to name the law as the Multilevel Marketing Control Act instead of the Direct Sale Act, which would be finalized during its vetting in the Law Ministry.

Under the proposed law, there are provisions of maximum five years of imprisonment or 50 lakh taka fine for running the MLM business without license.

Besides, one to five years of jail has been proposed for providing false advertisement and information regarding MLM business, while six months to one year jail term or Taka 50,000 will be fined for charging higher prices than the fixed prices of their products.

If any body is cheated by false advertisement or information regarding the MLM business, he/she will be compensated by double amount of loss, the draft law proposed.

The cabinet secretary said the draft of the law has been prepared after necessary consultations with the stakeholders and reviewing related laws of other countries including the UK, USA, Malaysia and Thailand.

Bhuiyan also said it would be mandatory to obtain license by the existing companies to run their business.

The cabinet hoped that with the enforcement of law, the people will be protected from cheating through bringing the MLM business under control.

The cabinet also endorsed the draft of the Quick Supply of Power and Energy (Special Provision) (Amendment) Act 2012 aimed at extending the existing law by one year to meet the rising demand of power and energy in the country

The cabinet approved the draft of the Population Policy 2012 in order to build healthy and happy Bangladesh thorough planned development and control of country's population.

The main objectives of the law are making reproductive health service available to all, reducing maternal and infant mortality rate, ensuring women empowerment and welfare of the disabled and elderly people, minimizing gender disparity, strengthening the urban health service, increase the use of family planning method to 72 percent from existing 61.2 percent and enhancing and participation of the private sector in Reproductive Health.

Under the law, a number of bodies will be formed to monitor the policy. The bodies include Population Council headed by the Prime Minister, the executive Committee led by the Health Minister and a taskforce headed by the Secretary or Additional Secretary of the Ministry.

The cabinet secretary said the council of ministers also gave nod to the drafts of the Bangladesh Workers Welfare Foundation (Amendment) Act, 2012, and the Islamic Foundation (Amendment) Act 2012. Under the Islamic Foundation Act 2012, Jamiatul Falah Jame Mosque in Chittagong will be brought under direct supervision of the Islamic Foundation like Baitul Mukarram National Mosque and Chittagong Shahi Jame Mosque.

The cabinet also approved the proposals of ratifying the Straddling Fish Stock and Highly Migratory Fish Stock Agreement of the United Nations and the Visa Waiver Agreement between Bangladesh and Turkey.

Cabinet members, advisers to the Prime Minister and State Ministers concerned attended the meeting while concerned secretaries were present.
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