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Make the city corporations corruption-free

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12th-Apr-2019       
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MASSIVE irregularities, fund embezzlement in trade licenses issuing by the country's city corporations is now an open secret. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) after conducting separate drives has detected huge irregularities at the city corporations. It is proved that the local government bodies are mostly corrupted and inept while service seekers hardly get services in due time from there. The ineffectiveness of the top tier of the local government institutions can be understood seeing the dilapidated condition of roads, footpaths, messy drainage system, filthy public space, poor waste management and lack of coordination among the utility service providers.
Following some recent complaints submitted with the Commission through its anti-graft hotline 106, the ACC conducted drives at Dhaka North and South City Corporations, Chattogram City Corporation, Cumilla City Corporation, Rajshahi City Corporation, Sylhet City Corporation, Khulna City Corporation and Rangpur City Corporation. It is revealed that service seekers have to pay Tk 15000 for getting trade license stipulated for Tk 4500 only. A nexus forged by outsiders and a section of DSCC employees are currently controlling the process of issuing and renewing of trade licenses. During the drive at DNCC, the ACC team found some outsiders at the office of the Chief Revenue Officer functioning as employees of DNCC. During the drive, the team found that officials have been charging extra fees from applicants and there was a dearth of license books, which together intensified the sufferings of the applicants.
In most corporations, there was no register book, or proper records while Inspectors have been taking cash money, charging extra for the issuance of licenses. There are 12 city corporations in the country and the corporations issuing several thousands of fresh trade licenses every year while they are also renewing several thousand annually. But from this sector, the city corporations get very low amount of revenues as the people involved in the collection and issuance of trade license usually misappropriate the money.
The city corporations remain highly dependent on central government allocation instead of resource mobilisation and self-reliance. The budget inadequacy pushes the corporations to refrain from several necessary activities. The corruption cycle in the city corporations should be busted out for the sake of the taxpayers.

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