The notion that many staffers of the Anti-Corruption Commission are involved in corruption is not completely false, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in parliament yesterday.
“Not all [ACC staffers] are absolutely innocent. None can guarantee that all are 100 percent honest,” she said responding to a supplementary question of ruling Awami League MP Maj (retd) Rafiqul Islam of Chandpur-5 constituency.
She said the commission would now have to be cautious so that such public perception does not exist.
Rafiqul had demanded that Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury expunge some words from the question of Jatiya Party MP Rowshan Ara Mannan (Reserved Seat-47).
Opposing his demand, the PM said there was nothing wrong with Row-shan’s question. She said, “The MP [Rowshan] mentioned that there was a public perception and she didn’t say that they were certainly involved in corruption.
“So, there is no need to expunge those words because it is not totally false,” said the prime minister.
She said her government has a special plan to reduce corruption to zero level by strengthening the ACC, raising public awareness, and using mod-ern information technologies.
There is no need to form a separate agency with manpower from different elite forces as the ACC gets cooperation from all government agencies whenever it asks for it, Hasina said.
The ACC is an independent and autonomous body, she said, adding that the commission explores and investigates corruption allegation neutrally. That is why ministry staffers’ and officials’ inclination to indulge in corrup-tion is gradually reducing, said the prime minister.
Responding to a supplementary question from Rowshan, Hasina said it was essential to socially resist the people involved in sexual harassment of girls in educational institutions. She said it was not possible to deal with the sexual harassment problem only through enforcement of law and order.
She urged the public representatives to form committees in every area, comprising guardians, teachers, representatives of religious institutions, and distinguished personalities, to prevent sexual harassment.
She said all injustice could be eliminated if the public representatives worked together with all the people of their localities.
Hasina said she does not spare her own party men involved in offences re-lated to sexual harassment.
In an oblique reference to the transfer of Manjur Mohammad Shahriar, deputy director (Dhaka division) of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP), Hasina said it was not acceptable to her that an officer was transferred for his drive against some big business institu-tions during Ramadan.
“I’m also asking today that he [Shahriar] be reinstated to the same post,” she said.
In response to a question from Jatiya Party lawmaker Rustum Ali Faraji of Pirojpur-3 constituency, the prime minister said her government has taken various measures to ensure fair prices of paddy for farmers.
She said the government has already increased import duty to discourage rice imports of the staple and decided to export surplus.