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Bangladesh - March 20, 2024

Health ministry officials use dept cars

31 vehicles of Health Department using Ministry

Staff Correspondent : A total of 31 vehicles of the Department of Health are being used personally by the officials and employees of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Among them are Minister-Secretary’s PS, Minister’s APS, Chief Accounts Officer (Health) and a Class III employee. The annual cost of the department is about Tk 2 crore for the fuel oil of these vehicles. Driver’s salary, maintenance and all other expenses of the vehicle are also of the department. The department is struggling to provide this huge amount.
The officials of the department say that these officers and employees do not have the authority to use the vehicles of the department. But they are abusing the power and using the car, taking fuel. Some of these car users have also taken interest-free loans to buy personal cars.
If attention is drawn to this matter, the Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Samant Lal Sen said, he is not aware of the matter. Will investigate and take necessary action.
According to the investigation, out of those 31 vehicles, 28 are used by various levels of officials and employees of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Most of the cars are Pajero (SUV). These include one Pajero of Immunization Program (EPI) (Dhaka Metro-G-13-0202) Minister of Health and Family Welfare’s APS, one Pajero of Disease Control Wing (Dhaka Metro-G-13-5898) Minister of PS and one Cariboy (Dhaka Metro Th-11 -8661) used by the Minister’s Protocol Officer (PO). Another Cariboy of the Disease Control Branch (Dhaka Metro Th-11-3635), a Pajero of the Health Education Bureau (Dhaka Metro G-13-3522) and a non-TO&E Pajero of the Directorate (Dhaka Metro G-11-4813) are used in the Minister’s office. EPI Program One Pajero (Dhaka Metro G-13-8025) Chairman of BMRC, Another Pajero (Dhaka Metro G-13-8023) Office of Health Services Secretary, Another Pajero (Dhaka Metro G-13-8022) Ministry of Additional Secretary (Public Health), A Pajero (Dhaka Metro D-13-5894) of the Disease Control Wing is used by the Private Secretary to the Health Secretary and a Cariboy (Dhaka Metro D-11-7499) is used by the Ministry of Under Secretary (Global Health).
One (Dhaka Metro G-13-2599) of the Disease Control Branch is used by the Joint Secretary (Project Implementation) and the other (Dhaka Metro G-13-2593) is used by the Joint Secretary (Par). One Pajero of NCDC Branch (Dhaka Metro G-11-6774), one Pajero of MIS Branch (Dhaka Metro G-11-0812), three Pajero of Hospital Branch (Dhaka Metro G-13-2908, Dhaka Metro G-11-0440 and Dhaka Metro D-11-6054) and two pajeros of Health Education Bureau (Dhaka Metro D-13-2785, Dhaka Metro D-13-3510) used by Joint Secretary (Part-2), Deputy Secretary (Part-3), Joint Secretary respectively. (Administration), Additional Secretary (Hospitals) and Director Bogra Medical College. Two pajeros of Health Education Bureau (Dhaka Metro G-13-2785, Dhaka Metro Health G-13-3510) are used by the Deputy Secretary Parliamentary Committee and Private Secretary to the Secretary. Two double cabin pickups (Dhaka Metro Th-13-2776, Dhaka Metro Th-13-2777) and two Pajeros (Dhaka Metro Dh-11-6668, Dhaka Metro Dh-11-9403) of the MDC (Microbial Disease Control) program are used. Deputy Secretary (Global Health-II), Deputy Secretary (Administration-I), Director Rajshahi Medical College Hospital and Additional Secretary, Hospitals, Clinics.
A Pajero (Dhaka Metro G-13-2974) of the Medical Education Wing is used by the Additional Secretary (Medical Education). Four pajeros (Dhaka Metro G-13-3526, Dhaka Metro G-13-2788, Dhaka Metro G-13-3522 and Dhaka Metro G-13-3514) of Health Education Bureau are used by BMRC, Chief Accounts Officer (Health), respectively. Principal of Gazipur Medical College and Principal of Jamalpur Medical College. An ambulance of Disease Control Wing (Dhaka Metro C-71-0744) at Parliament Secretariat Medical Center and a Pajero of ESD Wing (Dhaka Metro G-13-2912) are used by the Project Director on ‘Expansion and Modernization of Pangu Hospital’.
The investigation revealed that the Department of Energy spends Tk 7 lakh 96 thousand 416 per month for seven vehicles of disease control wing, four vehicles of MNC&H Program (EPI), two vehicles of National Nutrition Service and one vehicle of MIS. The fuel cost of these 14 vehicles is Tk 98.73 lakh per year. According to that, the expenditure of the department for the fuel of those 31 vehicles is more than Tk two crore.
Any official of the Department of Health declined to comment on the matter. Several officials of the department, who did not want to reveal their names, said that starting from the deputy secretary of the ministry, the joint secretary and the additional secretary are using the vehicles of the department by misusing their power. Grade 9 and 10 officers of the minister and secretary’s office, and even grade 3 employees have been using these cars for a long time. Two officials of the secretariat were also accused of using the department’s vehicle as an Uber.
According to the information of Directorate of Government Vehicles, all ministries have 1,750 government vehicles. However, the officials of the ministry used the vehicles of various projects with influence. Ministers are not left out.
Additional Director General (Administration) of the Department of Health Professor Dr. Ahmedul Kabir said that necessary decisions will be taken after discussing with all directors and line directors of the department.
As per the Authorized Government Officers Interest Free Loan and Vehicle Service Financing Policy, 2020 (Revised), the authorized officer can take vehicle facility and vehicle service financing from the Directorate of Public Vehicles. But if you buy a car with an interest-free loan (Tk 40 lakh), you cannot use the vehicles of the Directorate of Vehicles. Tk 40,000 per month for the maintenance and upkeep of the car bought on an interest-free loan. According to the policy, an officer who has taken an interest-free loan for a vehicle cannot normally use any vehicle for official or personal purposes on requisition from his office.
In this context, the executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Iftekharuzzaman said, it is basically abuse of power. Ministry officials cannot use these vehicles in any way unless they are related to the project. There are more rule violations here. Such behavior of ministry officials can’t be accepted. He said that those who are abusing power in this way should be identified and brought under accountability and punishment.

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