Govt will complain to TI: Inu

nformation Minister Hasanul Haque Inu

The government will write to Transparency International (TI) headquarters against the Berlin-based graft watchdog’s Bangladesh chapter for its recent “ill-motivated” survey on MPs activities, Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu told the House on Tuesday.

“TIB’s report is ill-motivated and undermined MPs before people intentionally. We will send the report [TIB survey] to TIB’s headquarters saying we are rejecting the survey. We will ask the TI to make objective report,” said Inu.

The information minister was replying to queries of MPs who also blasted TIB for the survey on lawmakers’ activities.

He said labeling only politicians as corrupt has been a fashion in Bangladesh although various quarters in the society are involved with it, he said.

“TIB did the task of that fashion and labelled MPs as corrupt,” Inu said, adding, “We will draw attention of TI headquarters to it, describing in detail the weakness of TIB’s survey.”

The Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) report, released on October 14, said 97 percent of the 149 sitting MPs surveyed were involved in “negative activities” that include being linked to or being supportive of criminal activities, misusing public funds and influencing government decisions.

And 70 percent of those involved in “negative activities” were engaged in “criminal activities” like murder, land-grabbing, extortion, tender manipulation and cheating. Many MPs even used their position to boost their income, the survey added.

Speaker Abdul Hamid and some ruling alliance MPs in parliament on Monday launched a blistering attack on TIB, terming the graft watchdog’s survey “flawed” and “ill-motivated”.

In response to lawmakers clamouring for action against TIB for “undermining the dignity of parliament”, the Speaker said he would come up with a decision later in consultation with some senior MPs.

Referring to Monday’s discussion, the information minister said the House will take decision to protect dignity of lawmakers.

Inu also informed the House about the information ministry’s measures to review the authenticity of TIB survey.

He said his ministry requested TIB to specify 31 points and TIB sent the reply. “The information ministry reviewed the reply. TIB did not follow properly the procedure of social survey. The method used by TIB for surveying is of low category, flawed and weak,” he claimed.

“So, it is not possible for the government to take any administrative action on the basis of the findings of the TIB survey.”

The information ministry on Tuesday provided MPs with copies of the ministry’s 31 questions and response of those by TIB.

Source: The Daily Star

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