Donate to get your funds released

BCCT MD ‘forces’ project officials to pay to his personal foundation

The managing director of Bangladesh Climate Change Trust has been collecting "donations" in exchange for releasing cheques to the projects under the trust, violating government servant conduct rules.

Directors of projects under BCCT said some of its officials have been collecting "donations" for Rizia-Aziz Foundation in exchange for releasing cheques for the projects. BCCT Managing Director Md Rezaul Haque runs the foundation named after his parents.

The "forced donations" taken from project directors for the release of each cheque ranges from Tk 5,000 to Tk 20,000, according to a number of PDs, who opted for anonymity fearing harassment in project implementation.

BCCT MD Rezaul Haque said, "It is not taken forcefully. Apart from this, I also take donations from my friends, and relatives. Anyone can contribute willingly."

According to an order of the public administration ministry yesterday, he has been transferred to the ministry as part of his leave preparatory to retirement (LPR).

According to the Section 9 of Government Servant Conduct Rules-1979, no government servant can ask, take part in collection or receiving of any fund unless there is specific directive from the government. Violation of the rule will be treated as misconduct and will prompt disciplinary action against the violator under Government Servant (discipline and appeal) rules-1985.

Various government organisations submit project proposals to the BCCT, which aims to mitigate climate change impact, and aid in adaptation and resilience.

BCCT approves and delivers funds in phases for projects it deems necessary to reduce the impact caused by climate change.

Rezaul Haque became BCCT managing director on September, 15, 2021, and has approved  63 projects.

"The money is taken when the PDs turn up at the BCCT for the release of the fund in the form of a cheque," said an official involved in a project.

Sources within the BCCT with knowledge of the matter told this newspaper that Kamrul Islam, a computer operator at the BCCT, used to collect the money.

He, however, told The Daily Star that he was no longer involved.

"When MD sir [Rezaul Haque] first came [to office], he asked us to take the money for this [to release cheques for projects]. When we refused to do so, the job went to the accounts department," Kamrul said.

He claimed that for the last seven or eight months, the accounts department had been taking care of it.

Md Aktheruzzaman, accounts officer of the BCCT, said, "MD sir can say better. You can talk to sir. We just release the cheques."

Rezaul Haque initially denied the PDs' "donations" to his foundation, but when asked if Akhteruzzaman took donations, Rezaul said that it was correct.

He said the foundation helps people in financial hardship, and provides students with scholarships.

Asked whether he can take the money as a government official, he refused to comment.

Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh, told The Daily Star that it was extortion.

"The money is taken during fund disbursement. As a government servant, he can't do it. It's a conflict of interest. The government must ensure accountability of the BCCT official," he added.

The foundation, according to a copy of the money receipt The Daily Star obtained, was located at Warsi Pikepara union under Tangail's Mirzapur Upazila.


৩৬ মিনিট আগে|বাংলাদেশ

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রোববার জাতীয় চা দিবসে ৮টি ক্যাটাগরিতে ৮ ব্যক্তি ও প্রতিষ্ঠানকে প্রথমবারের মতো ‘জাতীয় চা পুরস্কার ২০২৩’ দেওয়া হবে।