Bill in parliament to protect farmland

On Thursday, Jatiya Party MP Rowshan Ara Mannan introduced the Farmland (Proper Use and Protection) Bill 2022.

Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury sent the bill to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions. The committee was asked to submit a report to parliament.

Parliamentarians other than ministers are called backbenchers. Thursday is said to be a private day in parliament. Bills and proposals from deputies are tabled in parliament on this day. However, Thursday activities have been interrupted in recent sessions due to the pandemic.

During the Ninth Legislature, three of the 14 bills introduced by Members of Parliament were passed. Several other bills were also raised, but they did not pass.

The Farm Bill states that after the law is enacted, no agricultural land in the country may be used for any purpose other than agriculture. Land cannot be rented, leased or transferred.

However, this provision shall not apply to the construction of houses for private residences, cemeteries, crematoriums, religious burial sites and religious institutions.

The proposed bill includes a provision for the formation of a committee to oversee the proper use and conservation of agricultural land.

The bill stipulates that anyone violating any of the provisions of the law will be liable to imprisonment for three years or a fine of 50,000 taka.

If someone builds an industrial plant, road, housing or other facilities on agricultural land, the oversight committee will issue a notice and order the demolition of the facility.

The bill also states that no compensation will be paid for the demolition of facilities, regardless of other laws.

Amalia H. Mercado