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29th-Jan-2016

Corruption unravelling government and inflaming injustices

By Editorial Desk

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) finds no change in corruption level and Bangladesh has been assessed again as second worst performer in South Asia better than only war ravaged Afghanistan. Moreover degraded one notch below globally. The Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith agreed with the TIB report and admitted the government has failed to make any headway in reducing corruption. It must be seen as understatement of the new year. The government is riding on corruption.  
Poor performance of the government cannot be kept hidden for long through false propaganda and we have been taking risk to point out that the government is disturbingly failing to govern the country. We also cautioned that the government is deluded to have faith in the heavy doses of lies distorting facts and figures of development. The government is telling everybody that never before our country developed so much and so fast.
Corruption has complicated the political situation to the extent that, we need international support to emerge from the crisis. Like the people of Haiti over their presidential election we also look equally helpless to solve our own problems.
In a tightly controlled country like China veracity of the economic data is being questioned and the Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating the statistics agency for serious violations.
The government is spending money without caring about the intense miseries into which the vast majority of people find themselves. The over generous pay increases and costly mega show projects are aggravating suffering of the too many. The poor children are dying because there are not enough medical facilities for their treatment.
The government sees around it only those who are the beneficiaries of corruption and have suddenly become awfully rich and talk about dazzling progress of the country. The fact is that the investors are taking their money out of the country for uncertain political situation. Sweet words of invitation for investment go unresponded.
The people are not being only victims of official corruption, they are also forced to pay extortion money regularly collected by ruling party's young toughs. The police are unhelpful against the politically connected extortionists. You cannot blame the police if they also join the extortionists.
The pious utterances of the government that there will be no tolerance for corruption or extortion have no practical importance. The government is an Orwellian double-speak government. It says one thing and means the opposite. The injustices of corruption are to be found everywhere, including the justice system itself.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is evidently out of control and innocent people are made victims and harassed for bribe money. ACC officials bring allegations of corruption and then ask people to come to their office to be 'grilled'. It is unconstitutional to ask an accused to be witness against himself. The Supreme Court has warned in many cases that the Commission officials cannot do it.
RAJUK is used as a source of corruption by some other service providers also. RAJUK is not alone in the business of tolerating illegal commercial establishments in residential areas of Dhaka. The DESCO and City Corporations are to be equally blamed for their involvement. There is also truth that there is need for extending commercial areas after giving permission for high-rise buildings in residential areas.
To sum up the whole situation, corruption has to be seen at the root of all injustices, economic and all. Corruption is also the cause of indiscipline in the government.
The Finance Minister is now in search of commercial loans from international agencies, thus adding greater financial burden on an economy in deep crisis.
By denying free election the government has been hijacked to make it unaccountable and free for corruption. Now the government of Bangladesh is second worst performer in South Asia. The country must have the democratic system of institutional government with duly enforced accountability for true development. Otherwise corruption will have to be permitted for the survival of the government only to get lost in the midst of total anarchy. Complacency in the government is frightening.