PM asks secys to curb graft

Sheikh Hasina

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina addresses a meeting with the secretaries of the government at cabinet division at secretariat in Dhaka on Sunday. — Focusbangla photo

The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Sunday asked top bureaucrats to take measures to check corruption and ensure services to people without hassles from government’s service providing agencies.
‘Salaries have been increased. Corruptions by employees must be stopped,’ Sheikh Hasina said in her 12-point directives to the secretaries at a meeting at the Bangladesh Secretariat.
The secretaries sought extension of the retirement age to 62 years from the existing 59 since the average life expectancy exceeded 71 years.
They expressed concern over the fate of executive magistrate-led mobile courts as the High Court had already declared them illegal.
‘The prime minister instructed all secretaries to give more efforts in implementing the government’s priority projects in time,’ cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said.
He told New Age that a secretary proposed that the retirement age for public servants should be extended to 62 years, but the prime minister did not give any decision.
Hasina stressed the need for reducing lengthy legal process and easing the backlog of cases to lessen the sufferings of the people, several secretaries said. ‘If necessary, a high-level monitoring committee might be formed,’ the prime minister was quoted to have told the meeting.
She also asked the senior civil servants to ensure that government’s written responses incorporating adequate information in the cases against the government were placed in time and play a more active role in protecting government interests.
At least 16 of the 71 secretaries present at the meeting raised various demands and issues before the prime minister for her directives.
Concern over the ultimate fate of mobile courts operated by executive magistrates was raised in the meeting, a senior official said.
The prime minter, however, asked them to wait until the final judgement was delivered, the official added.
A secretary raised their demand for introduction of a ‘monogram’ for secretaries so that their cars could be identified by agencies concerned.
Hasina, however, asked the senior bureaucrats to ensure proper implementation of the national budget approved by parliament past week and make progresses in various sector visible to the people, said a secretary.
‘The prime minister asked the secretaries for steps to make sure that all paper works were completed in the next three months so that development work could be launched just after the monsoon,’ said Cabinet Division secretary for coordination and reforms NM Zeaul Alam.
This was the second such meeting after Sheikh Hasina, also the ruling Awami League president, took over as the prime minister for the second consecutive term on January 12, 2014 through January 5, 2014 elections with more than a half of the seats being elected uncontested amid boycott by all opposition parties, including the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
The prime minister also directed the authorities concerned to facilitate 24-hour export and import activities at all land and sea ports as shipping secretary raised the issue, Ziaul said.
She asked the secretaries for more efforts to complete the government’s fast track development projects in time, according to the secretary.
The government and private agencies involved in export and import activities at the ports maintain normal office hours as elsewhere affecting port activities, according to officials concerned.
Hasina also stressed the need for removal inter-cadre disparities.
She asked the secretaries for more steps at the field level to contain extremism.
Addressing the previous meeting with the secretaries during her current tenure on April 7, 2014, Hasina thanked the top bureaucrats for their ‘coordinated efforts’ in containing pre-election violence and holding the 10th parliamentary polls on time in a successful manner.

Source: New Age

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