Use of arbitrary power and not rule of law governs17 August 2016 Editorial Desk
Recently the Central Bank has asked all commercial banks to supply information of bank accounts of 18 suspected militants widely in discussion recently in the media for terrorist activities in the country. It has also asked the commercial banks to freeze their accounts if found with them.
As per media report on August 11 Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) has sent letters to commercial banks on behalf of Bangladesh Bank and demanded information within seven days.
There is no doubt we are passing through a critical time when terrorism and police restrict our lives in many ways. It is important to deny the militants' access to money but that must not mean a sense of uncertainty should be created in respect of all bank accounts.
We need serious minded competent people to deal with the problem at the same times not loosing the confidence of bank account holders. It is too arbitrary that on mere suspicion their bank accounts should be frozen. The bank must enjoy the trust and confidence of the clients of the banks not of the government or the police officials. Everybody, everywhere needs not to be politically enthusiastic and use his power in a reckless way.
Even if a police case has been started against a person on charge of militancy bank cannot rush to freeze his account depriving him and his business necessary funds. Bankers should think of their trust toward the account holders. If the people loose confidence then there will be more business losses. The people will lose confidence to keep money in the bank.
Experts have to be experts by deeds and not as political followers.
Bangladesh Bank has to do a lot to run its own affairs truthfully and efficiently. Instead they love to meddle in private banks affairs only to show how powerful the Bangladesh Bank officials are. Private banks have no freedom in our system to decide where they should have their offices and whether or not their lease agreements for use of space will be vetted by Bangladesh Bank. It is a shame that State Bank of Bangladesh using its time on petty matters.
In short the Bangladesh Bank official do not worry about their serious job of making the banking system efficient for business and free from corruption. The former governor of the bank did not miss any foreign trip and it is said that in 49 months he took 49 foreign trips.
Not only the Bangladesh Bank, anybody who has some government power thinks in most cases that he has no accountability and use his power arbitrarily without thinking how just or wrong such exercise of power is. In the case of police and lower judiciary public grievances are common about the people's helplessness before their arbitrary use of powers.
Terrorism causes fear, but the government officials everywhere including bank officials cannot take advantage to create more uncertainty by imposing unnecessary restrictions. It only makes normal life and business transactions difficult.
We have a feeling that by using power whimsically and using the excuse of terrorism, these officials are hindering normalcy to return. The police cannot harass young people anywhere on suspicion of militancy. This shall be the cause of creating more terrorists from those angry young ones.
To deal with any big crisis the authorities need to show higher sense of responsibility for protecting the innocent ones.
Everybody behaves in such a way as if innocent ones do not deserve protection.