War on corruption: Tracing a starting point and eliminating inequality

War on corruption: Tracing a starting point and eliminating inequality
Published : Tuesday, 8 January, 2019 at 12:00 AM
Mir Mosharref Hossain Pakbir   

Mir Mosharref Hossain PakbirWe have just started a terrific new year with a new government in Bangladesh after a much awaited national election. The people have given their verdict in favour of the ruling party of 2008 onwards–Bangladesh Awami League or to be more specific in favour of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership as they are going to form government for the consecutive third term. PM Hasina prior to the national election expressed her commitment on zero tolerance to corruption among many other commitments. It was even given highest priority in her party’s manifesto. 

After getting elected also, she again reassured us on her focus to eliminate corruption–the greatest problem of Bangladesh today requiring a lot of change in our administrative system. She has already indicated to adopt a new pattern this time as the new cabinet holds 9 new ministers. Moreover, 15 among 19 state ministers as well as 3 out of 3 deputy ministers are completely new with ministry. This depicts PM Hasina’s willingness to bring change. With her motive of eliminating corruption also, we believe she will come up with organized plans. Without versatile strategies as well as long term contingency plan, no government can come out of this problem as we have seen in many developed countries also. Moreover, it is highly required to set a starting point of this war.

Corruption has spread its black claws in almost all sectors of Bangladesh. Several reports from domestic and foreign researchers highlighted multiple sectors of our country as prime sources of corruption. We as citizens also confronted corrupt practices while we tried to avail services from the administration. Not only the public sector but also the private sector is engaged with corrupt practices. But any corruption before being circulated in the system goes through the people who are actually running that system. If the people are not corrupted, the system cannot get corrupted by its own. Hence it is very important that our government places honest personnel up on the top of different administrative offices.

The government of Sheikh Hasina has gradually improved the income of the public sector and many private sector officials in the last decade. This has created an environment where the drive to eliminate corruption can be executed providing all these officials to lead lives honourably without corruption. So, honesty should be the most important attribute for the officials of all government and private offices now.

One of the most important recruitment of the government is the top officials of autonomous institutions including banking and financial institutions and the regulatory institutions. There are few state-owned banks operating in Bangladesh. The recruitments of the top management and Board of Directors of these banks are conducted and controlled by the government. In the recent years, we have seen several scams, corruptions and indiscipline in the performance of these banks which obviously created huge questions over the honesty of the top management and directors of these banks. There is no way these top shots can deny their roles in all the ongoing corruptions in their institutions which makes us think if the government is appointing the wrong personnel for the jobs which requires utmost honesty.

The situation is similar for different autonomous institutions. There are several autonomous institutions operating in Bangladesh in the areas from culture and literature to agriculture. These offices actually hold huge authority over the performance of different sectors and many projects are initiated and executed by them. They actually coordinate with the respective ministries to initiate projects, accumulate and administer funds, execute the programs and conduct evaluations. The top management of these autonomous institutions is appointed by the government. Sadly, these autonomous bodies have become a critical source of corruption in today’s Bangladesh.

Another area which actually supports corruption through their failure in deploying transparency in different organizations is the regulatory bodies. For almost every act of corruption, the regulatory bodies can be held responsible. There are regulatory institutions for almost all sectors of Bangladesh but these institutions have failed to perform their tasks and are also allegedly involved in corruption. Sadly but in reality they support the corruption in different sectors of Bangladesh by keeping their eyes closed and that is of course in return of some favours. The top management of these regulatory bodies is also appointed by the government and for sure honesty is not a criterion for these appointments till now.

It is very important that only honest personnel should be appointed at the top of banks, autonomous institutions and regulatory institutions. Without honesty bestowed in the top management of these offices, corruption cannot be eliminated. Usually it was found that the government appoints persons associated with their parties or in favour of their parties for these positions. It is a corruption itself. If they hail from a certain party and receive their appointment from that consideration, then they are actually coming out as a product of corruption and hence will not have much motivation to fight that phenomenon in their institutions.

As PM Sheikh Hasina has committed herself to eliminate corruption from Bangladesh, we believe strong steps will be taken to solve this problem in light of our experience of her valiant leadership in tasks directed to keep her promises. To make her effort visible, she can immediately select 5 top corrupt officials from the top 5 corrupt sectors to bring them under justice. This will give a clear message to all the officials as well as will help to retain people’s trust.

The citizens of Bangladesh trusted Sheikh Hasina in the last national election with the belief that she is the one who can ensure the progress of Bangladesh in the upcoming years. We believe, the government also knows that corruption is the fiercest barrier to the development of Bangladesh. The Awami League government has transformed Bangladesh into the role model of development for the whole world during the last decade. Hence, we can hope that they will boost the development in Bangladesh by cent per cent elimination of corruption during their consecutive third term as the government.

Considering the case of Bangladesh and the ongoing development, one thing was mentioned repeatedly from a negative perspective by the politicians, economists and experts and that is income inequality between the rich and the poor. High income inequality diminishes economic growth and this effect is persistent implying that increasing inequality has a negative long-term effect on economic growth of a country. It can hamper sustaining the developments especially due to lower possibility of realization of those developments by all segments of the society. 

While we all appreciated the economic performance of our country during the last few years, it is alarming that income inequality has gone up in Bangladesh. The rich has got richer and the poor has got poorer. The wealth of the country is being accumulated among the top 5 to 10 per cent of the population while the others are fighting hard to hold their positions in this race. Though income per capita has gone up drastically, it is biased by inequality and corruption is one of the basic reasons for this inequality in Bangladesh and all over the world. 

To reduce income disparity among all segments of the population, corruption must be outset. If corruption hails in the country, there is no way we can reduce the income inequality. Corruption takes away money from the poor as they need to pay illegally to receive any service. That is, they have to spend more than the set price to avail a service and hence their wealth is decreasing. This wealth of the poor is being added to the wealth of the rich due to corruption. Thus, the disparity is increasing. This is only one example of ways in which corruption influences income inequality. There are numerous ways in reality. Corruption actually pushes the wealth from the poor to the rich and the increase or decrease happens in an uneven pattern.

Most of the people of Bangladesh still lie in the group of lower middle class to lower class. The development of Bangladesh can be called an actual success only if most of the Bangladeshi citizens can enjoy this development. Otherwise we will not be able to sustain this development. It is true that the lifestyle has gone up a lot even in poor families as they have now better access to education, health and many others. But the income inequality is hurting the overall performance of our economy. And if we need to point out the main cause behind this problem, it will always be corruption. That is why, if we can eliminate corruption from Bangladesh, we will be able to reduce income inequality as well as to ensure national progress in a much faster pace.

We are hopeful that the current government under the leadership of PM Sheikh Hasina will keep her promise to the people of Bangladesh by initiating a strong drive to eliminate corruption from the whole country which will definitely reduce the gap between different social classes. At the starting point of that drive, the government should focus on the financial, autonomous and regulatory bodies. We hope the government starts soon and if they do so they will be able to protect people’s trust as well as to fulfil the dreams of the citizens.

The writer is Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA), Editor at Kishore Bangla and Vice-Chairman, Democracy Research Center (DRC)

War on corruption: Tracing a starting point and eliminating inequality
Published : Tuesday, 8 January, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 100
Mir Mosharref Hossain Pakbir
Mir Mosharref Hossain Pakbir
Mir Mosharref Hossain Pakbir
We have just started a terrific new year with a new government in Bangladesh after a much awaited national election. The people have given their verdict in favour of the ruling party of 2008 onwards–Bangladesh Awami League or to be more specific in favour of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership as they are going to form government for the consecutive third term. PM Hasina prior to the national election expressed her commitment on zero tolerance to corruption among many other commitments. It was even given highest priority in her party’s manifesto.
After getting elected also, she again reassured us on her focus to eliminate corruption–the greatest problem of Bangladesh today requiring a lot of change in our administrative system. She has already indicated to adopt a new pattern this time as the new cabinet holds 9 new ministers. Moreover, 15 among 19 state ministers as well as 3 out of 3 deputy ministers are completely new with ministry. This depicts PM Hasina’s willingness to bring change. With her motive of eliminating corruption also, we believe she will come up with organized plans. Without versatile strategies as well as long term contingency plan, no government can come out of this problem as we have seen in many developed countries also. Moreover, it is highly required to set a starting point of this war.
Corruption has spread its black claws in almost all sectors of Bangladesh. Several reports from domestic and foreign researchers highlighted multiple sectors of our country as prime sources of corruption. We as citizens also confronted corrupt practices while we tried to avail services from the administration. Not only the public sector but also the private sector is engaged with corrupt practices. But any corruption before being circulated in the system goes through the people who are actually running that system. If the people are not corrupted, the system cannot get corrupted by its own. Hence it is very important that our government places honest personnel up on the top of different administrative offices.
The government of Sheikh Hasina has gradually improved the income of the public sector and many private sector officials in the last decade. This has created an environment where the drive to eliminate corruption can be executed providing all these officials to lead lives honourably without corruption. So, honesty should be the most important attribute for the officials of all government and private offices now.
One of the most important recruitment of the government is the top officials of autonomous institutions including banking and financial institutions and the regulatory institutions. There are few state-owned banks operating in Bangladesh. The recruitments of the top management and Board of Directors of these banks are conducted and controlled by the government. In the recent years, we have seen several scams, corruptions and indiscipline in the performance of these banks which obviously created huge questions over the honesty of the top management and directors of these banks. There is no way these top shots can deny their roles in all the ongoing corruptions in their institutions which makes us think if the government is appointing the wrong personnel for the jobs which requires utmost honesty.
The situation is similar for different autonomous institutions. There are several autonomous institutions operating in Bangladesh in the areas from culture and literature to agriculture. These offices actually hold huge authority over the performance of different sectors and many projects are initiated and executed by them. They actually coordinate with the respective ministries to initiate projects, accumulate and administer funds, execute the programs and conduct evaluations. The top management of these autonomous institutions is appointed by the government. Sadly, these autonomous bodies have become a critical source of corruption in today’s Bangladesh.
Another area which actually supports corruption through their failure in deploying transparency in different organizations is the regulatory bodies. For almost every act of corruption, the regulatory bodies can be held responsible. There are regulatory institutions for almost all sectors of Bangladesh but these institutions have failed to perform their tasks and are also allegedly involved in corruption. Sadly but in reality they support the corruption in different sectors of Bangladesh by keeping their eyes closed and that is of course in return of some favours. The top management of these regulatory bodies is also appointed by the government and for sure honesty is not a criterion for these appointments till now.
It is very important that only honest personnel should be appointed at the top of banks, autonomous institutions and regulatory institutions. Without honesty bestowed in the top management of these offices, corruption cannot be eliminated. Usually it was found that the government appoints persons associated with their parties or in favour of their parties for these positions. It is a corruption itself. If they hail from a certain party and receive their appointment from that consideration, then they are actually coming out as a product of corruption and hence will not have much motivation to fight that phenomenon in their institutions.
As PM Sheikh Hasina has committed herself to eliminate corruption from Bangladesh, we believe strong steps will be taken to solve this problem in light of our experience of her valiant leadership in tasks directed to keep her promises. To make her effort visible, she can immediately select 5 top corrupt officials from the top 5 corrupt sectors to bring them under justice. This will give a clear message to all the officials as well as will help to retain people’s trust.
The citizens of Bangladesh trusted Sheikh Hasina in the last national election with the belief that she is the one who can ensure the progress of Bangladesh in the upcoming years. We believe, the government also knows that corruption is the fiercest barrier to the development of Bangladesh. The Awami League government has transformed Bangladesh into the role model of development for the whole world during the last decade. Hence, we can hope that they will boost the development in Bangladesh by cent per cent elimination of corruption during their consecutive third term as the government.
Considering the case of Bangladesh and the ongoing development, one thing was mentioned repeatedly from a negative perspective by the politicians, economists and experts and that is income inequality between the rich and the poor. High income inequality diminishes economic growth and this effect is persistent implying that increasing inequality has a negative long-term effect on economic growth of a country. It can hamper sustaining the developments especially due to lower possibility of realization of those developments by all segments of the society.
While we all appreciated the economic performance of our country during the last few years, it is alarming that income inequality has gone up in Bangladesh. The rich has got richer and the poor has got poorer. The wealth of the country is being accumulated among the top 5 to 10 per cent of the population while the others are fighting hard to hold their positions in this race. Though income per capita has gone up drastically, it is biased by inequality and corruption is one of the basic reasons for this inequality in Bangladesh and all over the world.
To reduce income disparity among all segments of the population, corruption must be outset. If corruption hails in the country, there is no way we can reduce the income inequality. Corruption takes away money from the poor as they need to pay illegally to receive any service. That is, they have to spend more than the set price to avail a service and hence their wealth is decreasing. This wealth of the poor is being added to the wealth of the rich due to corruption. Thus, the disparity is increasing. This is only one example of ways in which corruption influences income inequality. There are numerous ways in reality. Corruption actually pushes the wealth from the poor to the rich and the increase or decrease happens in an uneven pattern.
Most of the people of Bangladesh still lie in the group of lower middle class to lower class. The development of Bangladesh can be called an actual success only if most of the Bangladeshi citizens can enjoy this development. Otherwise we will not be able to sustain this development. It is true that the lifestyle has gone up a lot even in poor families as they have now better access to education, health and many others. But the income inequality is hurting the overall performance of our economy. And if we need to point out the main cause behind this problem, it will always be corruption. That is why, if we can eliminate corruption from Bangladesh, we will be able to reduce income inequality as well as to ensure national progress in a much faster pace.
We are hopeful that the current government under the leadership of PM Sheikh Hasina will keep her promise to the people of Bangladesh by initiating a strong drive to eliminate corruption from the whole country which will definitely reduce the gap between different social classes. At the starting point of that drive, the government should focus on the financial, autonomous and regulatory bodies. We hope the government starts soon and if they do so they will be able to protect people’s trust as well as to fulfil the dreams of the citizens.
The writer is Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA), Editor at Kishore Bangla and Vice-Chairman, Democracy Research Center (DRC)
Mir Mosharref Hossain PakbirWe have just started a terrific new year with a new government in Bangladesh after a much awaited national election. The people have given their verdict in favour of the ruling party of 2008 onwards–Bangladesh Awami League or to be more specific in favour of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership as they are going to form government for the consecutive third term. PM Hasina prior to the national election expressed her commitment on zero tolerance to corruption among many other commitments. It was even given highest priority in her party’s manifesto. 

After getting elected also, she again reassured us on her focus to eliminate corruption–the greatest problem of Bangladesh today requiring a lot of change in our administrative system. She has already indicated to adopt a new pattern this time as the new cabinet holds 9 new ministers. Moreover, 15 among 19 state ministers as well as 3 out of 3 deputy ministers are completely new with ministry. This depicts PM Hasina’s willingness to bring change. With her motive of eliminating corruption also, we believe she will come up with organized plans. Without versatile strategies as well as long term contingency plan, no government can come out of this problem as we have seen in many developed countries also. Moreover, it is highly required to set a starting point of this war.

Corruption has spread its black claws in almost all sectors of Bangladesh. Several reports from domestic and foreign researchers highlighted multiple sectors of our country as prime sources of corruption. We as citizens also confronted corrupt practices while we tried to avail services from the administration. Not only the public sector but also the private sector is engaged with corrupt practices. But any corruption before being circulated in the system goes through the people who are actually running that system. If the people are not corrupted, the system cannot get corrupted by its own. Hence it is very important that our government places honest personnel up on the top of different administrative offices.

The government of Sheikh Hasina has gradually improved the income of the public sector and many private sector officials in the last decade. This has created an environment where the drive to eliminate corruption can be executed providing all these officials to lead lives honourably without corruption. So, honesty should be the most important attribute for the officials of all government and private offices now.

One of the most important recruitment of the government is the top officials of autonomous institutions including banking and financial institutions and the regulatory institutions. There are few state-owned banks operating in Bangladesh. The recruitments of the top management and Board of Directors of these banks are conducted and controlled by the government. In the recent years, we have seen several scams, corruptions and indiscipline in the performance of these banks which obviously created huge questions over the honesty of the top management and directors of these banks. There is no way these top shots can deny their roles in all the ongoing corruptions in their institutions which makes us think if the government is appointing the wrong personnel for the jobs which requires utmost honesty.

The situation is similar for different autonomous institutions. There are several autonomous institutions operating in Bangladesh in the areas from culture and literature to agriculture. These offices actually hold huge authority over the performance of different sectors and many projects are initiated and executed by them. They actually coordinate with the respective ministries to initiate projects, accumulate and administer funds, execute the programs and conduct evaluations. The top management of these autonomous institutions is appointed by the government. Sadly, these autonomous bodies have become a critical source of corruption in today’s Bangladesh.

Another area which actually supports corruption through their failure in deploying transparency in different organizations is the regulatory bodies. For almost every act of corruption, the regulatory bodies can be held responsible. There are regulatory institutions for almost all sectors of Bangladesh but these institutions have failed to perform their tasks and are also allegedly involved in corruption. Sadly but in reality they support the corruption in different sectors of Bangladesh by keeping their eyes closed and that is of course in return of some favours. The top management of these regulatory bodies is also appointed by the government and for sure honesty is not a criterion for these appointments till now.

It is very important that only honest personnel should be appointed at the top of banks, autonomous institutions and regulatory institutions. Without honesty bestowed in the top management of these offices, corruption cannot be eliminated. Usually it was found that the government appoints persons associated with their parties or in favour of their parties for these positions. It is a corruption itself. If they hail from a certain party and receive their appointment from that consideration, then they are actually coming out as a product of corruption and hence will not have much motivation to fight that phenomenon in their institutions.

As PM Sheikh Hasina has committed herself to eliminate corruption from Bangladesh, we believe strong steps will be taken to solve this problem in light of our experience of her valiant leadership in tasks directed to keep her promises. To make her effort visible, she can immediately select 5 top corrupt officials from the top 5 corrupt sectors to bring them under justice. This will give a clear message to all the officials as well as will help to retain people’s trust.

The citizens of Bangladesh trusted Sheikh Hasina in the last national election with the belief that she is the one who can ensure the progress of Bangladesh in the upcoming years. We believe, the government also knows that corruption is the fiercest barrier to the development of Bangladesh. The Awami League government has transformed Bangladesh into the role model of development for the whole world during the last decade. Hence, we can hope that they will boost the development in Bangladesh by cent per cent elimination of corruption during their consecutive third term as the government.

Considering the case of Bangladesh and the ongoing development, one thing was mentioned repeatedly from a negative perspective by the politicians, economists and experts and that is income inequality between the rich and the poor. High income inequality diminishes economic growth and this effect is persistent implying that increasing inequality has a negative long-term effect on economic growth of a country. It can hamper sustaining the developments especially due to lower possibility of realization of those developments by all segments of the society. 

While we all appreciated the economic performance of our country during the last few years, it is alarming that income inequality has gone up in Bangladesh. The rich has got richer and the poor has got poorer. The wealth of the country is being accumulated among the top 5 to 10 per cent of the population while the others are fighting hard to hold their positions in this race. Though income per capita has gone up drastically, it is biased by inequality and corruption is one of the basic reasons for this inequality in Bangladesh and all over the world. 

To reduce income disparity among all segments of the population, corruption must be outset. If corruption hails in the country, there is no way we can reduce the income inequality. Corruption takes away money from the poor as they need to pay illegally to receive any service. That is, they have to spend more than the set price to avail a service and hence their wealth is decreasing. This wealth of the poor is being added to the wealth of the rich due to corruption. Thus, the disparity is increasing. This is only one example of ways in which corruption influences income inequality. There are numerous ways in reality. Corruption actually pushes the wealth from the poor to the rich and the increase or decrease happens in an uneven pattern.

Most of the people of Bangladesh still lie in the group of lower middle class to lower class. The development of Bangladesh can be called an actual success only if most of the Bangladeshi citizens can enjoy this development. Otherwise we will not be able to sustain this development. It is true that the lifestyle has gone up a lot even in poor families as they have now better access to education, health and many others. But the income inequality is hurting the overall performance of our economy. And if we need to point out the main cause behind this problem, it will always be corruption. That is why, if we can eliminate corruption from Bangladesh, we will be able to reduce income inequality as well as to ensure national progress in a much faster pace.

We are hopeful that the current government under the leadership of PM Sheikh Hasina will keep her promise to the people of Bangladesh by initiating a strong drive to eliminate corruption from the whole country which will definitely reduce the gap between different social classes. At the starting point of that drive, the government should focus on the financial, autonomous and regulatory bodies. We hope the government starts soon and if they do so they will be able to protect people’s trust as well as to fulfil the dreams of the citizens.

The writer is Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA), Editor at Kishore Bangla and Vice-Chairman, Democracy Research Center (DRC)

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