Finance, health ministers come under fire at House
Strong criticism of corruption and mismanagement in different ministries continued in parliament yesterday, as lawmakers from Jatiya Party and BNP came down heavily on the health minister and finance minister for their failure to curb corruption and stop money laundering.
Opposition Jatiya Party MP Pir Fazlur Rahman slammed Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal for seeking names of money launderers from lawmakers.
"The finance minister is a talented person in the finance sector. He should know very well who are laundering money from the country," he said while participating in the discussion on the proposed budget for 2021-22.
He also criticised the finance minister for his failure to stop money laundering.
"Money is being laundered abroad, but the finance minister cannot stop it. The stock market is looted, the finance minister cannot find it out. The Financial Intelligence Unit of Bangladesh Bank says evidence of money laundering has been found in 1,024 cases in five years. Then why does the finance minister not get the information?"
Criticizing the finance minister for not being present during the parliament sitting, Fazlur Rahman said, "We are delivering speech in parliament on the proposed budget. But we did not find the finance minister in parliament yesterday (Tuesday) either. Not even today (yesterday)."
The JP MP said, "PK Haldar is sleeping abroad after laundering huge amount of money and his girlfriends are being put to sleep in jail here."
He said the finance minister has sought the list from MPs about those who have laundered money from the country.
"How will lawmakers provide the list? The finance minister is in charge of the Ministry of Finance. He should provide the list of money launderers."
Pointing to CAG audit report, the JP lawmaker said, "Every audit report has the information -- how irregularities and corruption are taking place in different sectors. The finance minister can get information about who is smuggling money from there."
Pir Fazlur Rahman said the Anti-Corruption Commission has identified 11 areas of corruption in the health ministry.
Pointing to media reports, he said, in the 2017-18 fiscal, there was corruption of at least Tk 1,000 crore in purchase of equipment in the health sector.
He called upon the health minister to take actions against corrupt persons involved in the health sector.
"At least let our conscience be awakened during this time of Covid-19. Catch these corrupt people. Ensure treatment of people. We want to ensure Covid-19 vaccination for people," he also said.
Speaking in the proposed budget, BNP MP Mosharof Hosen strongly criticised the government for making an additional secretary OSD (official on special duty) on June 6 for making public the price of vaccine.
"Coronavirus vaccines are being purchased with people's money; people have the right to know the price. It is sad that an officer was made OSD for this."
Jatiya Party MP Sayed Abu Hossain Babla also lambasted the health minister for his failure to stop widespread corruption in the health sector.