Home Bangladesh Unbridled corruption persists despite ‘zero tolerance’ policy
Bangladesh - Bank & Finance - 4 weeks ago

Unbridled corruption persists despite ‘zero tolerance’ policy

Staff Correspondent: The election manifesto given by Awami League in the twelfth parliamentary elections before the formation of the government for the fourth consecutive term, emphasized the ‘zero tolerance policy against corruption’. After the implementation of ‘Digital Bangladesh’ under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of the father of the nation, party leaders are now considering corruption as the main obstacle in the progress of ‘Smart Bangladesh’.
The leaders of Awami League have expressed their anger on the matter as the news of the corruption of responsible officials in various important sectors of the government is being published in the media. They say corruption is dimming all the achievements of the government. Even after the ‘zero-tolerance’ policy, corruption could not be curbed or controlled. If this spread of corruption is not stopped with special measures now, the development progress of the country will be buried under the shock of the iceberg.
One of the most talked about cases recently is the corruption of former Inspector General of Police Benazir Ahmed. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been investigating the properties of this police chief for almost two months. So far evidence has also been found against him of acquiring huge amount of wealth outside the known income. Due to these reasons, the court has ordered the seizure of property and bank account of Benazir Ahmed and his family. ACC says its assets are still being traced. As the discussion about Benazir Ahmed and his family’s large amount of property has not stopped, the news of acquiring huge wealth through corruption has started again against the former Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Asaduzzaman Mia.
On the other hand, the most discussed issue regarding corruption is the Commissioner (Customs and Excise) of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and the President of the VAT Appellate Tribunal Matiur Rahman’s huge illegal wealth acquisition and money laundering. ACC has started an inquiry in this matter. Added to this is the news of the country’s banking sector collapse.
BNP has been criticizing the government since the rampant corruption of the government officials and the illegal acquisition of huge wealth have been continuously revealed. Leaders of Awami League are not looking at the matter well. They say that BNP has made the country the champion of corruption five times, they also talk about corruption now! Where the Awami League government has introduced the country as a role model of development to the world today. Bangladesh is now seen differently in the world, where the government is criticized for being corrupt in various sectors of the government. They advised the government to be stricter against the corrupt.
Awami League Joint General Secretary and Member of Parliament Bahauddin Nashim said, “Be it corrupt individuals, institutions, government or private parties or organizations, initiatives should be taken to implement Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy against corruption by taking strict action against them. Debt defaulters, money launderers, bank robbers, price gouging syndicates should be identified. It is necessary to prepare a list of them and present them before the nation.
The Awami League leader also opined that the people of the country should be protected from the hands of this vicious, totalitarian, self-seeking gang by forming a special task force.
Awami League believes that corruption is the main obstacle to the country’s economic development, poverty alleviation, infrastructure development and moral development of the nation. Due to corruption, it is not possible to achieve specific goals in the overall development of the country. It is not possible to suppress corruption only through law enforcement and punishment, but for that, it is necessary to build social movements.
General Secretary of Awami League and Minister of Road Transport and Bridges Obaidul Quader said that the government has zero tolerance against corruption and no one will be exempted from corruption. ACC is completely independent. The position of the Prime Minister in this regard is zero tolerance. In this he is adamant.
He said, “Whoever commits corruption, the government has zero tolerance in this regard.” The ACC has the right to investigate corruption and here the government will not interfere in any way with their independence.
Another Joint General Secretary of Awami League, Mahbub Ul Alam Hanif, commented that even after the zero-tolerance policy, corruption could not be suppressed or controlled. The salary of government employees has been increased in stages. Their facilities have been enhanced. Even then, why will there be corruption?’
He said, “There are thousands of such models. The salary has been increased gradually. Still, it was not possible to reduce corruption. Rather, corruption laws have been made more flexible and laxer. They have been given the opportunity to retain their jobs with a nominal penalty.
What is against corruption in the election manifesto of Awami League: In the election manifesto of Awami League, it is stated in section ‘F’ of the chapter ‘Good governance’ of 3.2, corruption will be eradicated from the society as well as the state through the joint initiative of the people. It is promised,

  1. Zero tolerance policy against corruption will continue. Initiatives will be taken to implement effective methods and ways to fight corruption with people.
  2. Strict measures will continue to be taken to eradicate illegal acquisition of wealth outside of known income, bribery, abuse of power, nepotism, muscle power violence and racketeering.
  3. To prevent corruption in administration, the use of information technology will be expanded in all areas including land administration, police department, courts, education, health care.
  4. In order to inculcate anti-corruption attitude among the students, chapters on the evils of corruption and what to do to prevent corruption will be added to the curriculum.
    Politicians and experts say that the Awami League’s zero tolerance policy against corruption has reduced the level of corruption, but recently it has come to a head. If corruption is not stopped, the dream of a developed and prosperous Bangladesh will be far defeated.
    They say that if there is a criminal case against the politicians at the national level, they do not need permission to arrest them. But if there is a similar case against government officials, he has to take the permission of the higher officials to arrest him. The Government Servants Act-2018 has encouraged officials and employees to commit corruption. Due to this law, the Anti-Corruption Commission is being hindered to bring them under the law. It is practically considered as Criminal Protection Act. They have raised the demand for reconsideration of the law.
    In order to stop corruption, experts say that the road to consumption must be stopped first. Before the election, the politicians have to give an affidavit and give the details of all their assets. But government officials are not required to give an affidavit. An affidavit is mandatory at the time of recruitment and after every five years or at the time of promotion, the nation will know the extent of his assets.
    Former state minister Motahar Hossain, Member of Parliament for Lalmonirhat-1 Constituency, severely criticized the corrupt people in various sectors of the government and said, “All politicians are corrupt.” And they fix everything, nothing else. He drives home and abroad, lives in Begumpara, and some other neighborhoods, keeps money in Swiss banks. Today the fault is ours, the politicians.
    AFM Bahauddin Nashim, Member of Parliament of the government party and Awami League joint general secretary, urged the relevant organizations to find out whether there is another Motiur Rahman like the official of NBR.
    He said, “When there is an allegation of corruption against a particular person, then on behalf of his organization, group or association, he gives a clean speech and statement on behalf of the corrupt person, which in turn takes the responsibility of the organization for the accusation against that particular person. This responsibility falls on the entire organization. We have to get out of here.
    Rashed Khan Menon, president of the co-leader of the 14-party coalition, said, “If this spread of corruption is not stopped with special measures now, the development progress of the country will be crushed by the impact of the iceberg.”
    He said, “Bangladesh has become the champion of corruption five times during the tenure of BNP.” The country is now free of that stigma but still ranks in the top ten. Rather, the image of corruption that has been emerging recently by abusing state power, is creating distrust not only in the country’s image, but also in the public’s various government institutions.

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