7 more new missions abroad; proposal cleared

The Cabinet has approved a proposal to open seven new Bangladesh missions abroad in addition to clearing another proposal for giving retrospective approval to already established 17 missions abroad.

The approval came from the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat on Monday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, reports UNB.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said the seven new Bangladesh missions will be established in Kabul, Khartoum, Freetown, Bucharest, Chennai, Sydney, and Toronto.

The 17 Bangladesh missions, already in operation and given retrospective approval, are in Athens, Milan, Mumbai, Istanbul, Lisbon, Kunming, Beirut, Mexico City, Brasilia, Port Luis, Copenhagen, Warsaw, Vienna, Abuja, Addis Ababa, Algiers and Guwahati.

Out of these missions abroad, Shafiul Alam said, four missions — Bucharest, Brasilia, Warsaw and Sydney — have been reopened freshly.

According to the Rules of Business, he said, there is a need for taking approval from the Cabinet before setting up new missions abroad. But, the Cabinet approval had not been taken earlier while setting up 17 the missions.

“That’s why such a retrospective approval has been given now.”

The Cabinet also approved a proposal for ratifying the ‘Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-Border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific’ through which Bangladesh will become the party to it.

As per a decision of the 72nd session of UNESCAP, the Cabinet Secretary said, it will become effective at least five countries will ratify this agreement once these five countries ratify this agreement.

He said the deadline for the other countries remains open till September 30 this year for becoming party of this agreement.

Shafiul Alam said once this agreement becomes effective, paperless trade would start among these five countries which will also ease doing business as well as reduce cost and save time.

The Cabinet meeting also gave the final approval to the draft of the Nazrul Institute Bill, 2017 after translating the original ordinance into Bangla.

Shafiul Alam said the National Nazrul Institute Ordinance was first promulgated in 1984 and there is no such change in the new draft law.

As per the new draft law, the number of Board members has been raised to nine from the previous seven.

At the outset of the meeting, the Cabinet adopted a felicitation motion congratulating Saima Wazed Hossain as she was awarded the International Champion Award from Shema Kolainu, a New York-based School and Centre for Children with Autism, for her relentless and innovative works for the wellbeing of the persons with autism.

Saima, daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and member of WHO’s Expert Advisory Panel on Mental Health and Chairperson of National Advisory Committee on Autism of Bangladesh, has been the inspirational figure at the international level for her Autism works.

Ministers and state ministers and secretaries concerned were present.

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