Cracking down on time theft by government officials using the excuse of “sitting on committees”, the government yesterday decided to form a committee to oversee all other committees.
“Our ministers waste too much time sitting on committees. They even form other committees to do the job of the original committees, wasting tax payers' money,” the minister of the newly formed Ministry of Committees said.
“Some committees take money. But they take too much money. So we are forming a committee of bribes to oversee that the amount of bribes taken is not too much,” he said, adding that everyone in the country is a thief including him.
When a reporter asked him why he was blatantly encouraging crimes, the minister said he was only joking and that it is not his fault that reporters don't understand his “words”. “I wasn't even speaking in English. It's an entirely different language,” he said, referring reporters to the committee on excuses, another newly formed committee to oversee the bad excuses ministers make to get out of trouble.
The role of all committees came to light following the recent encroachment of canals around the capital. “Take the case of the Dumni canal. It was earmarked to be 120 feet wide but now stands at only 10 feet wide in places,” Srinath Mondol, chair of the Committee of Canals, informed. “There is a real estate developer, very rich, very connected, who actually uses the earth dug from another place to make an artificial canal, to fill the natural canal a few kilometres away,” he explained.
Mondol alleged that the real estate developer in question created many problems impeding his committee's work. “He made baseless allegations of corruption against us,” he said, while wiping his face with the tissue of the real estate developer's tissue company, sitting on a chair from the Real estate developer's furniture company, all the while in his house which he recently “won” in a lottery in the locality of the real estate developer in question.
After the filling of the canal flooded the Pink City residential area, a new committee was formed to oversee irregularities. The new committee met so irregularly that by the time they decided to go check the spot, they said that the city's committee of development had built a bridge over it.
“When you make things, sometimes you make them over other things. The fact is, it will not harm the flow of water and even if does, it's just water. The Pink City that we have flooded can now act as a canal,” the chair of the committee of development said at the time.
After this, another committee was formed, one comprised of only ministers. The Committee of Ministers on a Mission was also ineffective as the ministers met only to praise our supreme rulers and decided to narrow the canal further. “We honestly did not know what we were supposed to do. We heard canal and development so we thought we must develop the canal, as things go in this country,” a minister said, asking not to be named.
The newly formed committee, though, promises not to waste time and get to work. In order to ensure this, the Committee of Time Theft will be formed to oversee the work of the committee that oversees the work of all committees. But who will oversee the work of the Committee of Time Theft?
“We will form a committee to discuss these matters,” another minister said.
Osama Rahman is a Sub-editor at The Daily Star.