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Dhaka Monday,  Dec 5, 2022

Indemnity Clause From Proposed Oil, Gas, Mineral Corpn Bill Dropped

Shahnaj Begum

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Power, Energy and Mineral Resources has dropped the idea for inclusion of the indemnity clause from the proposed “Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation Bill-2022.”
Earlier, the clause 21 read, ‘no suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the Board, the Chairman or any other Director or any officer or employee of the Corporation for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Ordinance.’
State Minister for Power Nasrul Hamid placed the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation Bill, 2022 in parliament on June 5 in 2022, to expedite the exploration of oil, gas, and mineral resources in the country.
However, the Committee has submitted its report to Parliament Secretariat without describing anything about “Oil exploration.”
According to the Para 7 (Gha), if the Bill will be passed in parliament then the Petrobangla will have no right to look after the oil issue, unfortunately, it did not discuss who will be taking care of oil resources of the country.
“We have a proven reserve of oil field in Sylhet and Kailastila, if we discover any oil field in Bangladesh in future who will explore and develop the field and at the same time who will take the responsibility of Sylhet and Kailastila oil, it should be Petrobangla, who else?” former Energy Adviser Dr M Tamim questioned..
State Minister for Power Nasrul Hamid placed the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation Bill, 2022 in the parliament on June 5, 2022, to expedite the exploration of oil, gas, and mineral resources in the country.
It was sent to the respective parliamentary standing committee for scrutiny. However, the committee has submitted its report which will be placed before the House in the next session.
“The new law will replace the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation Ordinance, 1985 which has been declared void by the court as it was promulgated during the regime of the military dictator,” a senior official of the Energy Division said.
As per the bill, a corporation will be established titled the Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation for carrying out the purposes of this Bill. The corporation may also be called Petrobangla.
This will be a body corporate, having perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and shall by the said name sue and be sued, it suggested.
The main office of the corporation will be established in Dhaka whereas if necessary its offices can be set up in any place in and outside the country taking prior permission from the government.
The authorised capital of the Corporation shall be Tk 5,000 crore, which was Tk 200 crore, while the paid up capital will be Tk 200 crore.
The Board shall consist of the followings: Directors, a Chairman to be appointed by the Government, an officer not below the rank of a Joint Secretary of the Ministry or Division dealing with energy and mineral resources to be nominated by that Ministry or Division, an officer not below the rank of a Joint Secretary of the Ministry or Division dealing with finance to be nominated by that Ministry or Division, an officer not below the rank of a Joint Secretary of the Ministry or Division dealing with planning to be nominated by that Ministry or Division, three officials of the Corporation nominated by the government and two Directors to be appointed by the government.
According to the bill, it was prepared as the 15th amendment of the Constitution repealed all the proclamations, proclamation orders, chief martial law administrator’s orders, martial law regulations, martial law orders, martial law instructions, ordinances and other laws made after seventh amendment between March 24 of 1982 and November 11 of 1986.

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