• Thursday, April 17, 2014

Resigned but not left yet

Only 3 of 22 ex-ministers move out of govt houses

M Abul Kalam Azad and Partha Pratim Bhattacharjee
Former land minister Rezaul Karim Hira still lives in the official residence on Minto Road in the capital even though he had resigned from his position over a month ago. Photo: Rashed Shumon
Former land minister Rezaul Karim Hira still lives in the official residence on Minto Road in the capital even though he had resigned from his position over a month ago. Photo: Rashed Shumon

Nineteen ministers and state ministers are yet to return their official residences to the public works ministry, although they resigned over a month ago. 
Thirty cabinet members had stepped down on November 21. Of them, 22 had been staying in government houses. 
Former minister Abdul Latif Biswas and state ministers Ahad Ali Sarkar and Mostafizur Rahman are the only three who have handed over their houses to the ministry so far, said ministry sources.
Former advisers to the prime minister HT Imam, Moshiur Rahman, Modasser Ali and Alauddin Ahmed have been occupying their official residences. 
Former industries minister Dilip Barua did not vacate his house as he was later made an adviser to the prime minister with the status of a minister.
As per The Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers (Remuneration and Privileges) Act, 1973, cabinet members and advisers should return their houses within one month from resignation. 
But the public works ministry is yet to issue any notice on the cabinet members and advisers for returning the houses.
Former ministers AFM Ruhal Haque, Dipu Moni, Sahara Khatun, Abdur Razzaque, Faruk Khan, Raziuddin Ahmed Razu, Rezaul Karim Hira, Abul Kalam Azad and Enamul Huq Mostafa Shaheed and former state ministers Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdul Mannan Khan, AB Tajul Islam, Yeafesh Osman, Motahar Hossain, Shahjahan Mia, Enamul Huq, Mahbubur Rahman, and Abdul Haye are yet to hand over their residences to the ministry.
Former minister Suranjit Sengupta, Shafique Ahmed (now adviser to the PM), Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Afsarul Amin and Mostafa Faruk Mohammad, and former state minister Meher Afroz Chumki, Mujibur Rahman Fakir and Omar Faruk Chowdhury did not move to government houses.
Visiting 20 houses on Wednesday and Thursday, The Daily Star found that some former cabinet members have already moved their belongings from their residences, but are yet to return the houses. 
A police guard at Nanak's residence at the parliament complex said the former state minister has started shifting. Cops at Sahara Khatun's Bailey Road residence said she was still staying there.
“Sir has informed us that he will vacate the house in a week,” a security guard at former adviser Alauddin's residence at the parliament complex told this newspaper.
Former health minister Ruhal Haque claimed that he moved all his belongings, but was yet to hand over the house. “I'm not staying at the house for a week,” he told from Satkhira over the phone.
Former health adviser Modasser Ali said he did not vacate the house due to “security reason.” “I've already rented a house at Dhanmondi and will shift there on getting security clearance,” he added. 
Ex-minister Afsarul Amin said he did not get any government house at Baily Road and was staying in a rented house, owned by the government, in Gulshan.
Despite repeated attempts, The Daily Star could not reach former state minister for housing and public works Abdul Mannan over the phone. 
Yeafesh Osman, who was the state minister for science and technology, said he has almost completed moving his belongings.
Wishing anonymity, a former minister who is still staying at a government house, said many ex-ministers do not bother vacating their houses expecting that they might be inducted in the new cabinet after the January 5 parliamentary election.
“Some ex-ministers are dilly-dallying and busy with electioneering,” he added.
Asked whether letters would be issued on the former cabinet members in this regard, Md Ashraful Islam, director of the Directorate of Government Accommodation, said, “They [ex-cabinet members] all are knowledgeable people and will surely vacate the houses.”
If they do not, a monthly charge will be imposed on them for overstaying in government houses, mentioned Ashraful.

Published: 12:01 am Saturday, December 28, 2013

Last modified: 10:02 pm Saturday, December 28, 2013

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