বৃহস্পতিবার, ১৮ এপ্রিল ২০২৪, ০৫:৫৩ অপরাহ্ন

As of now no scope for leasing out Gov Waterbodies through PPP

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Update : বুধবার, ২৬ অক্টোবর, ২০২২
Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury

Staff Reporter Dhaka :There is no scope for awarding Government Waterbody (Jalmahal) lease under the public-private partnership (PPP) as it conflicts with the existing PPP Act. Currently, the bona fide Fisheries cooperative society can get the Jalmahal lease only by applying for the Jamaal lease online.

Recently, the Ministry of Land expressed this opinion in view of an application. According to section 2(12) of the ‘Bangladesh Public-Private Partnership Act, 2015’, there is no scope for leasing any Jalmahal through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Fisheries Cooperative Society under paragraph 28 of the ‘Government Jalmahal Management Policy-2009’.

The Waterbody Management Policy was made before the enactment of the PPP Act. The provisions of law prevail over any rules and regulations or policies. It is said in the ‘Government Jalmahal Management Policy’ formulated in 2009, that the Ministry of Land can manage a small number of waterbodies across the country on an experimental basis through public-private partnerships. On the other hand, in the PPP Act of 2015, a PPP project refers to activities or programs related to the construction or operation of any new infrastructure or a plan to do both, plan to reconstruct any existing infrastructure or both of two or delivery of all those goods or services which are not related to any infrastructure facility.

On February 24, 2022, Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury inaugurated the online Jalmahal application process. The bona fide fishermen used to face various problems because of various tactics of the middlemen and brokers in the Jalmahal leasing process. Now there is no such opportunity. No complaints were received from any stakeholders after the online Jalmahal application was started.

Now the application for the Jalmahal lease can be filed from the land.gov.bd land service platform or directly from the jm.lams.gov.bd web portal. Apart from this, the application process for the Jalmahal lease and the details of the lease process could be known from the above web portal.

It is to be noted that the area of fishing in Beel, Haor, Baor, low-lying wetlands, and rivers is called Jalmahal (water bodies). According to one estimate, the number of water bodies in the country, big and small, is about 38,000. These leases generate a revenue of about Taka 100 crore a year. A number of Jalmahals have been kept non-leased as traditional and sightseeing places such as Ramsagar in Dinajpur, Hurasagar in Sirajganj. Notable water bodies, which are declared as the fishing sanctuaries, are Tanguar Haor in Sunamganj, Hakaluki Haor in Moulvibazar, etc.

The ‘Development Project’ lease applications for government Jalmahal and special types of Jalmahal of above 20 acres for 6 years are presented and approved at the meeting of the ‘government Jalmahal lease committee’ chaired by the land minister at the ministry level. In the ‘General Application’, the lease application of the government Jalmahal of ‘above 20 acres for 3 years are presented and approved in the meeting of the District Jalmahal Management Committee. In the ‘General Application’, the lease application of the government Jalmahals of above 20 acres for 3 years are presented and approved in the meeting of ‘Upazila Jalmahal Management Committee’. Besides, Water Bodies are handed over to various ministries as per the proposed project plan through memorandum of understanding for public interest.


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