Govt orders list of truant officials

12 April 2020

The government has ordered a list of its officials who have been absent from their respective offices and, in turn, shirked their responsibilities in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
The Ministry of Public Administration and the cabinet division have asked deputy commissioners and divisional commissioners to draw up a list of truant officials, Public Administration
 Secretary Sheikh Yusuf Harun told
"The government made it a point that its officials would face the coronavirus crisis from their workplaces. But some of them have taken the shutdown as an opportunity to go home. In many places, UNOs don't have the tag officers to help them distribute relief materials."
Tag officers are government officials assigned to oversee the distribution of relief goods alongside local representatives in a particular area.
But in many places, the tag officers are not supervising the relief distribution efforts, said Harun.
"As a result, the relief goods are being sold elsewhere or even being stolen. The government official is responsible for overseeing the distribution efforts and so we have asked for the names of those who are dodging their duties. We'll take necessary action once we receive the list."
Harun acknowledged that the distribution of Tk 10 per kg rice among the poor has also been marred by 'irregularities.'
"The dealers are perpetrating these irregularities. A person is allowed to buy a maximum of 5 kg of rice. But you'll find many people sitting around with weighing scales when the rice is being distributed," he said.
"Some are selling 3 kg out of the 5 kg rice they buy and use the that money to purchase other goods."
This is an 'offence', according to Harun. "We told the UNOs to nab those who bring weighing scales to buy rice. Police should drive them away."
The government has extended a nationwide lockdown to Apr 25 amid a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the country.
But government officials have been ordered to report to work during the shutdown.
The authorities are taking action against 11 government officials in Shibchar Upazila in Madaripur for being absent from their workplaces in defiance of the order.
As part of its immediate humanitarian assistance package for the poor during the crisis, the government allocated Tk 284.5 million and 65,967 tonnes of rice in aid.
It is also selling rice for Tk 10 per kg among the poor.

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