JS body on defence ministry wants tour to see UN peacekeeping mission
After the parliamentary body on the Ministry of Railways wanting foreign tour to gain experience, now the parliamentary standing committee on the Ministry of Defence wants to go abroad to see the activities of Bangladesh Armed Forces members in the United Nations peacekeeping missions.
The parliamentary watchdog in its meeting today (May 11, 2022) at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban said they want to see the activities of the Bangladesh Armed Forces members working in the UN peacekeeping mission.
In light of the committee's recommendation, the defence ministry said considering the Covid-19 situation, they are planning to arrange a trip to a mission area at any convenient time in July-August.
However, it has not been decided yet where and when the tour will take place.
Earlier, the committee had twice visited peacekeeping missions in the current 11th parliament.
The outcome of such a trip at the cost of public money in the past had triggered criticism from different quarters.
Usually, the expenditure of the members of the delegation of parliamentary standing committees which include MPs and officials of the parliament secretariat and the ministries concerned is borne by the government exchequer.
There have been criticisms over such tours as many such trips at public expense reportedly yield nothing.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also spoke against such frequent trips abroad.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today while talking to reporters said in a bid to ease pressure on foreign exchange reserves, the government has decided to stop foreign trips of its officials and postponed the implementation of less important projects that require imports.
According to sources, the parliamentary committee had recommended the ministry make arrangements for visiting peacekeeping mission areas late last year.
The ministry in a meeting of the Standing Committee held in December, last year said the Armed Forces Division was in the process to arrange a tour for inspecting the activities of the members of the Bangladesh Armed Forces in the UN peacekeeping mission. But so far this tour has not taken place.
According to the working paper of the meeting, this issue was discussed again in the committee's meeting held in February.
Ruling Awami League MP Motahar Hossain, a member of the committee raised the issue. Later, the committee again asked to fix a schedule of visits at the earliest convenient time considering the overall situation.
The Ministry of Defence today informed the standing committee about the progress of the visit. They said the Armed Forces had informed them a process to arrange the visit at any convenient time in July-August, is going on. Detailed tour plans will be sent soon in coordination with the field mission.
When asked about this, Motahar Hossain said it has been decided that the visit will take place in July-August.
Their committee has not visited in the last three years. He said the boys of the country are working abroad, and they are planning to go on the tour to encourage them.
There is no such thing here as a conflict of interest, he added.
The Parliamentary Committee on the Ministry of Railways recently recommended to the concerned ministry to make arrangements for a visit to Korea, China or Japan to see the activities of the railways.