12:02 AM, February 06, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

PMO under revamp

PMO under revamp

Hasina counts this time on honesty, efficiency
Hasan Jahid Tusher

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has opted to reorganise her office by inducting people with experience and a clean image to avoid controversy and speed up development activities.
Already, she has dropped a few senior officials and is likely to appoint those known for clean track records and competence.  
Among those dropped from the Prime Minister's Office are two of the premier's advisers Syed Modasser Ali and Alauddin Ahmed.
Modasser became widely controversial for partisan appointments in the health sector during the previous tenure of the Awami League-led government, while Alauddin drew flak for his divisive role in listing educational institutions for the government's monthly pay order scheme.
AL Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif, who was earlier special assistant to the PM, is also out of the PMO for what party sources claimed his accumulation of a huge amount of money and properties in the last five years.
"The prime minister is focusing on development activities to counter criticism over the parliamentary election. For this, she has opted to appoint officials who are experienced and have a clean image," said a senior minister preferring anonymity.
Not only that, Hasina has now made HT Imam her political adviser to ease controversy over his role in the civil bureaucracy. Earlier, he was her public administration affairs adviser. Many civil servants were unhappy about Imam's interference in the bureaucracy in the last five years.
The PM has appointed Senior Secretary of Economic Relations Division Abul Kalam Azad as the PMO secretary. The previous secretary, Molla Waheeduzzaman, has been made chairman of Privatisation Commission with the status of a state minister after his contractual appointment expired.
PMO sources said Hasina might extend the tenure of her principal secretary Shaikh Md Wahid-uz Zaman, which is to expire in mid-February.
However, if Zaman is transferred to any government organisation with the status of a state minister like Molla, Abdus Sobhan Sikder, senior secretary at the public administration ministry, might replace the present principal secretary, added the sources.
The premier did not reappoint her press secretary Abul Kalam Azad. He has been made managing director of the state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS).
Sources said her assistant private secretary Saifuzzaman Shekhor might be promoted as private secretary while former Bangladesh Chhatra League president Mahmud Hasan Ripon might replace Shekhor.
Meanwhile, Hasina has reappointed Gowher Rizvi, Mashiur Rahman, Maj Gen (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique and Towfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury Bir Bikram as her advisers and Mahbubul Hoque Shakil, Abdus Sobhan Golap, Selima Khatun and Ferdous Ahmed as her special assistants.
According to sources, changes are also likely in a few other positions in the personal and press wings of the premier.
Contacted by The Daily Star, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury on Monday said the government would focus on posting efficient people in the bureaucracy to expedite implementation of development projects.



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