State Minister for Industries, Kamal Ahmed Mojumder, has stressed on stopping the move to transfer Tk240 crore from the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) fund to the Finance Ministry.
He was speaking as a special guest at a discussion titled "Bangabandhu's Dream for Industrial Development: The Role of 'Standards' in Building a Safe and Sustainable World," on the occasion of the 51st World Standards Day on Tuesday at the BSTI head office in Tejgaon.
The State Minster said, "BSTI arranges its own funds for various works, including construction of new BSTI labs. So, it would not be right to move the funds elsewhere as the organisation gets less government assistance."
On 5 February, a bill was passed in the parliament that 61 organisations, including BSTI, have to submit their surplus funds to the Finance Ministry.
Sheikh Fazle Fahim, the president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), said, "All types of labs should be set up before 2024 to ensure quality of products, so that we do not have to face any kind of challenges in export."
In order to capture the international market at this time, knowledge sharing with globally recognised quality control organisations needs to be increased, he added.
Industries Minister, Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, speaking as the chief guest, said that the services of BSTI should be extended to the grassroots level to stop adulteration as a quality control agency.
"There would be no compromise with regards to the quality of the product. We have to take the quality of our products to the place we have reached today. All future tests will be done here," said the Minister.
Though it is still not possible to conduct many tests, he said that the lab has become financially stronger than before.
State Minister for Industries, Kamal Ahmed Mojumder, further said, "Some unscrupulous traders are deceiving people by producing low-quality products and pushing consumers towards health risks. The BSTI has to play a significant role here."
Ministry Secretary KM Ali Azam said, "If low-quality products are produced, buyers will be deceived, and we have to lose buyers in the international market."
He added that the BSTI laboratories in divisional cities were being brought under accreditation for the production of quality products.
BSTI Director General, Dr Md Nazrul Anwar said that in September, BSTI conducted 109 mobile court drives across the country, filed 189 cases and sentenced 15 people to various terms of imprisonment.
"Besides, cases have been filed against 18 organisations through 145 surveillance operations," he added.
World Standards Day is celebrated annually to create awareness about the quality of products and services. This year, the theme of the day is "Protecting the Planet with Standards."