Prof Muzaffer welcomes probe into TIB activities

The government can investigate the activities of Transparency International Bangladesh and graft allegations, if any, against its officials, Prof Muzaffer Ahmad said yesterday.
“TIB's latest report “Parliament Watch 2009” that became the talk of the town in the past week didn't have any ill intention,” said the former chairman of TIB.
The words “quorum crisis” used in the newspaper report was not right, but it is a fact that most of the parliament sessions commenced late,” Muzaffer, trustee board member of TIB, said.
Muzaffer, however, welcomed Hasina'a eagerness to investigate TIB's activities and corruption allegations against its officials.
“I don't have the information about any corruption of TIB officials, but if the government has any they can investigate it,” Muzaffer said this after attending a roundtable on “NGOs Accountability and Responsibility: Recent Experiences” at the National Press Club in the city.
Neeti Gobeshona Kendra organised the roundtable and its trustee member Dr Sheikh Towfique M Haq read out a keynote paper that says, “Bangladesh has turned into a NGO-infested country.”
Muzaffer, as a chief guest at the roundtable, said that there are several non-government organisations doing business in the name of welfare, which should be stopped, as social services and business cannot go together.
If any NGO wants to be accountable and responsible, first of all it has to bring fairness and objectivity in their activities, he said, adding: “Beneficiaries get only 20 to 22 percent of the foreign funds while rest are used as “cost of fund” meaning house rent, salary and other expenses.”
Some NGOs in the country practise corporate culture in the NGO sector that doesn't bode well for the country like Bangladesh as this culture is bringing about division in the society, he said.
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman, as a panel discussant, said, “People put blames on NGOs which is not always justified as NGOs are, of course, doing a lot of good jobs too.”
The country's financial activities are run in three sectors public, private and NGO; as there is a huge gap between NGOs accountability and transparency it raises a lot of questions about the sector, he said.
Director of Neeti Gobeshona Kendra Mahbubul Alam Ripon moderated the roundtable while former secretary Shahidul Alam, Prof of public administration of DU, Dr Salahuddin M Aminuzzaman, Prof ASM Atiqur Rahman and advocate Alina Khan spoke at the roundtable as panel discussants.
Discussants at the roundtable recommended forming an independent NGO commission to ensure transparency and accountability of NGOs.
It also recommended taking measures against fake NGOs and updating the existing legal structures and formulating separate laws for profitable schemes including micro credit programmes.


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