No attention to resignation | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 18, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 18, 2012

No attention to resignation

Sohel Taj asks govt why he is being paid, why around Tk 40 lakh deposited in his account in salaries, perks for 33 months


Former state minister for home Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj, who tendered his resignation in June 2009, has demanded that the government take back around Tk 40 lakh deposited in his account in remuneration and allowances for the post.
Talking to The Daily Star over the phone from the US, he questioned why such a huge amount of money was sent to his account after two and a half years and why no gazette notification on his resignation was issued.
He also demanded that the government issue a gazette notification in this regard, as he thinks his dignity and image of the government as well as the prime minister have been tarnished for not doing so.
"I want to know why an embarrassing situation has been created by not issuing a gazette notification. Why mysteriously huge amount of money was deposited to my account after two and a half years when I did not get a single coin as remuneration and allowances as a lawmaker since my resignation? I want answers from the cabinet secretary," commented Sohel Taj.
Sohel Taj, the only son of the country's first prime minister Tajuddin Ahmad, wrote two letters to the cabinet secretary in this regard on Monday and Tuesday respectively.
Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told The Daily Star he cannot take a decision on a matter related to the rank of a state minister. "I need the prime minister's guidelines in this regard," he said, adding that it is the duty of the Cabinet Division to give salary and wages to every minister and state minister if they officially belong to the government.
He said a state minister does not have to sign his/her cheque in receiving salary and wages as it goes automatically to their accounts.
In the letter, Sohel Taj said he resigned from the post of state minister for home on May 31, 2009, five months after the ruling Awami League-led grand alliance government assumed office, and sent his resignation letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on June 1 according to the Constitution.
"But until today, no gazette has been issued of my resignation," he said in the letter, adding, "As a result, for not issuing the gazette, the image of the present government as well as the prime minister and my personal dignity have been damaged and an untoward incident has been occurred centring it."
Moreover, the Cabinet Division has deposited at a time the remuneration and allowances of a state minister from August 2009 to December 2011 [29 months] to his personal account and kept depositing the cheque of monthly remuneration and allowances until today without informing him, he said adding that he didn't get his salary as a lawmaker for that time.
A state minister gets Tk 1,20,800 per month including different allowances including house rent and fuel allowance.
Sohel Taj told The Daily Star there is no provision in the Constitution that resignation of a state minister would not be accepted by the prime minister. He said he has been kept as state minister on the government's list forcibly and given remuneration and allowances against the position forcibly.
"These are clear human rights violation and I'm being disregarded intentionally. I'm no longer a state minister."
He claimed his passport has not been allowed to change by the government and he has to face embarrassment every time he travels. "Enough has happened so far and it has to end now," he urged the government.
Asked about the matter, former cabinet secretary and adviser to a caretaker government Akbar Ali Khan told The Daily Star Sohel Taj did this on his moral point of view.
"It's a right decision on ethical consideration and it is his moral duty to give back the money which he has taken. That's great," he added.

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