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Interest free car-loan for bureaucrats to buy loyalty

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09th-Oct-2017       
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THE government has introduced interest-free car loan facilities for high officials of administration, from Deputy Secretary and above ranks and some other cadres when the city is already overcrowded in terms of personal vehicles. The government opted for the line of credit from our bordering nation on tough conditions only for meeting budget deficiency. When urban planners and environmentalists call for limiting personal vehicles and the government takes mega projects for strengthening the public transport system in the city involving huge expenditure, soft loans for more than 1500 high officials, mostly from administration cadre, would only tighten the snarl-ups. Consolidating power by bribing the high officials is a practice when ordinary people become powerless to form the government.

Wasting the national exchequer for providing privilege at the time when the life standard of the mass people is strangulating due to the politico-economic impasse, high food inflation, overwhelmed unemployment rate, the higher rate of essential utilities - electricity, gas and water, and government-imposed unbearable VAT, levy, and tax is unjustified.

By issuing gazette notifications, as reported in a daily, the Ministry of Public Administration stated that from the rank of Deputy Secretary to Senior Secretary of the administration cadre are eligible to get Tk 30 lakh interest-free loan repayable in 10 years and Tk 50,000 a month for maintenance of the vehicle. The new move would benefit around 1,500 deputy secretaries of the privileged cadre and Joint Secretaries of economic cadre and judicial service but officers equivalent to Deputy Secretary and Joint Secretary of other cadres like Health, Agriculture, Police, Customs, Income Tax, Audit, Education would not be entitled to enjoy the facility. This will widen the existing discrepancies in the cadre service further which is also contrary to the PM's call to end discrepancies in the cadre service that she made during the conference of the Deputy Secretaries in July. The present move is also a violation of an act formulated in1975 that aimed at ensuring uniformity in the cadre service.

We feel that the government should retreat from the move as 1500 new personal vehicles --- if they were to ply in the city, would make the existing traffic congestion be more complicated. Besides, granting loans from the national exchequer would not be wise as the country is going through severe food insecurity and there are a hundred more priority tasks than investing in the luxury of a selected few.  Overall, the move will widen the inequality among the officials of the state.


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