Two MPs blast corruption in bureaucracy
Lawmakers Rashed Khan Menon and Rumeen Farhana speaking in parliament yesterday slammed corruption among bureaucrats and harassment of common people and journalists by them.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's brave initiatives to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic have been unsuccessful because of a group from the military, civil bureaucracy, and rich individuals close to the government, they told in parliament.
BNP's Rumeen Farhana elected from the reserved seats for women in parliament launched the blistering attack on bureaucracy, saying the situation becomes difficult if bureaucrats behave like the Pharaohs.
Speaking on the "Iodised Salt Bill, 2021", the BNP MP said, "In a bid to make people understand the despicable attitude of bureaucrats, the planning minister [MA Mannan] several days ago said that even the Pharaoh could not run his activities without bureaucrats."
Rumeen said, it's true that bureaucrats are necessary to run a modern country and its government.
She said an Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Bogura's Adamdighi Upazila fined a goat for consuming flower plants on the office premises in May.
A family in Narayanganj was subjected to harassment and fined after a member of that family sought food support by calling 333, said Rumeen.
The harassment of journalist Rozina Islam of Prothom Alo by health ministry officials has proved that people in different sectors are being harassed by the bureaucrats.
Pointing to a provision of mobile courts in the "Iodised Salt Bill", Rumeen said the mobile court must not exist in a country where there is an independent judiciary.
"Mobile court is being operated by the country's executive division which is totally contradictory to Article 22, Article 115 and Article 116 of the Constitution."
Operation of mobile court by an executive magistrate is against the spirit of the constitution.
Speaking on the proposed budget for 2021-22 fiscal, Workers Party leader Menon said the government has taken various actions against individuals involved in corruption in the health sector.
"But no actions were taken against officials who posed for photographs and inked the agreement with the Regent Hospital [owner]," he added.
The prime minister's brave measures to contain Covid-19 were of little use because of a group from the civil and military bureaucracy and rich individuals close to power.
"Although the finance minister has pointed out economic progress in the budget… structural weakness and corruption in health sector has been exposed over the last one year," Menon added.
The proposed budget is not people-friendly, it's business- friendly, he said. He also criticised imposing vat on private universities.
"ENSURE COMPLETE FREEDOM OF MEDIA"
Jatiya Party MP Salma Islam told parliament that the government must ensure complete freedom of the media and the opposition parties in order to strengthen democracy.
She also suggested that the government confiscate properties of loan defaulters.
Salma Islam, who was elected to a reserved seat for woman in parliament, also said the government should welcome criticism on any issue.
She said the government should not invite the loan defaulters to any state event.
"Air tickets should not be sold to them and licences of their cars should be revoked," she added.