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Govt trusted MPs are not trusted by the people

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23rd-Jun-2020       
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ECONOMISTS and governance campaigners on Sunday denounced the allocation of Tk 20 crore to each of the rural MPs in order to improve infrastructures in their areas. They said that the lawmakers should only be engaged in legislative affairs, not in project implementation.
They raised questions about the viability of such development work, including construction of roads, bridges and culverts, at a time when the government required spending more on the health sector to improve the medical services, now on the brink of collapse because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It should be obvious to all that the role of MPs as project implementing authority is not acceptable. If they are given such funds they will only use them for pork barrel projects. Such legislative control of local appropriations will ensure only that trusted henchmen of the MPs get the money, instead of being used for actual projects.
Nationally the ADP implementation rate in the country never fell below 62 percent during the first 11 months of any fiscal year since 2010-11, while it reached a maximum of 72 percent, but in the last fiscal it has reached 57 percent. This means that Tk 85,000 crore plus has to be spent in one month. In such a situation why is there a need for a further Tk 5,600 crore for the MPs?
Already construction of 305 kilometres of upazila roads, development of 360 kilometres of union roads and 5,075 kilometres of rural roads, maintenance of 1,090 kilometres of rural roads and construction of 7,992 metres of bridges and culverts will be done under the project. Third Important Rural Infrastructure Development Project on Priority Basis at a cost of over Tk 6,479 crore. Then why the need for the further 5,600 crore?
Surely any additional rural infrastructure project can easily be tied into the project. After its the function of ECNEC (Executive Committee of National Economic Council) to select acceptable projects. Putting money directly into MPs hands will result in their being spent on non essential items.
The government must realise that the revenue it gets comes from the people - it's not a slush fund to be used for illegal gain of the MPs neither elected nor trusted by the people.

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