12 February 2013 - Industries Minister Dilip Barua Monday expressed hope that his government will enact Ship Breaking and Recycling Law by June of this year to create a safe environment for the sector.
He was having a meeting with Norwegian Ambassador Ragne Birte Lund on technical assistance in maintaining safety measures with support from Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).
The minister said the Ministry of Industries (MoI) and the NORAD will jointly work to reach an international standard platform that will create an environment-friendly ship recycling industry.
He said once the law is in place, it would be easier for the government to monitor and supervise the industry and it would also create an impetus to force the ship-breakers to maintain rules.
The minister said currently the ship breakers are supposed to follow the government’s Ship Breaking & Recycling Rules 2011.
The Norwegian Ambassador said NORAD will mark up indications with the government’s support to strengthen the safety measures in the ship recycling industry.
She said both the government and the NORAD will jointly work to support the local ship recycling industry in maintaining safety rules according to International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
The Ambassador said, “We are here to provide technical assistance in dealing with the hazardous materials, equipment and in building the workers’ capacity and supports in some other projects that will be helpful to deal with the bigger ships according to the IMO rules and regulations.”
MoI Secretary in-charge Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah said at first there would be a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the government and the NORAD.
He said soon after the signing of the MoU there would be a Technical Assistance Project Proforma (TAPP) under which both the parties would indicate and finalise the possible safety measures for a green shipbuilding industry.
The MoI is going to extend help to the ship-breaking and recycling industry in the light of suggestions and rules of IMO and Basel Convention by forming a Technical Assistance (TA) body.
According to data available from the MoI, currently Bangladesh is breaking 26 per cent of the world’s total scrapped ships, China 33 per cent, India 31 per cent and Pakistan 4-5 per cent.
Statistics show that Bangladesh alone is dismantling more than one quarter of the world’s total abandoned ships and the industry is rising gradually.