Advertisement
Advertisement

WASA records further revealed that in the 231st board meeting of Dhaka WASA on 24 January 2016, the salary of the MD was fixed at Tk. 450,000, a huge jump from 200,000. The decision was implemented from October 2015.

The 272nd board meeting of Dhaka WASA was held on 17 December 2020. The meeting formed a committee to re-fix the remuneration and other facilities of the MD, board chairman and members. The committee sat for twice and proposed to increase salary and allowance of the MD.

In the 276th meeting of the board on 28 February this year, the issue of salary and allowances of the MD was discussed. According to the documents presented in the meeting, the MD’s salary and allowance were re-fixed on 14 October 2015. According to the uniform salary structure 2016 of other service providing companies (DPDC, DESCO, Power Grid), monthly salary and allowances of a managing director stands Tk. 503,562 in 2021. Monthly salary of the MDs of Janata, Sonali and Rupali banks is Tk. 400,000.

default-image

The Dhaka WASA board committee proposed to increase the MD’s salary to Tk. 625,000. The committee considered the current MD’s qualifications, experience, his contributions in the last three years, inflation and the salaries and allowances of other equivalent government and private organisations.

WASA board member engineer AKMA Hamid, however, raised questions about raising the MD’s salary and allowance.

He said, “The MD has got appointment on contract. His salary and allowances were fixed during the appointment. The MD is getting salary of over Tk. 400,000. No MD of any bank is drawing salaries over 400,000 taka. whereas the Dhaka WASA MD is responsible for functioning in Dhaka city only, MD of a bank is in charge for the entire country. Considering that, will the salary be not exorbitant? I don’t know about any other organisation paying so high a salary to any other MD.”

Despite the questions, the meeting decided to raise Taqsem A Khan’s salary and allowances. The board meeting also decided that this amount will not be applicable to any future managing director of the WASA.

On 2 March, Dhaka WASA secretary Sharmin Haque Amir sent a letter to WASA director (finance) that said the gross salary of Taqsem A Khan would be Tk. 625,000. WASA’s accounting department documents in May reveal that his basic salary was Tk. 286,000, festival allowance Tk. 47,667, house rent Tk. 35,000, medical and entertainment allowance Tk. 35,750, special allowance Tk. 180,066 and Bangla New Year allowance Tk. 4,767.

Taqsem A Khan has gone to the US on three months leave in April. He has been supervising different policy making decisions of the Dhaka WASA from there over phone and WhatsApp. He saw questions regarding his salary and allowance raise but did not answer those. Dhaka WASA’s deputy head of public relations AM Mostafa Tareq said he did not know anything about it.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Dhaka WASA board chairman Golam Mostofa said, “I don’t want to discuss the salary raise of the MD.”

Later he said nothing was said about salary and allowance during the MD’s appointment on contract for three years. A person’s salary could not be same for five years. His salary and allowance was raised considering the inflation, he added.

The price of water is also increasing on parallel. In July 2009, the cost of every unit (1,000 litre) water at the residential level was Tk. 6.04. In the latest development, it has been decided to hike the price again which would be implemented from 1 July. According to the new price, every 1,000 litre water would cost Tk. 15.18. the WASA hiked the price at the beginning of the pandemic in April last year as well.

Because of the Dhaka WASA’s continuous failure to mitigate waterlogging crisis, the government has handed over the responsibilities to the two city corporations of Dhaka. Though the WASA has a grand plan to resolve sewerage problems, its implementation is meagre. That’s why many parts of the Dhaka city are still outside the sewerage benefit.

Consumers Associate of Bangladesh (CAB) president Golam Rahman told Prothom Alo the board members that have increased salary and allowance of the MD are not elected. That’s why they don’t have any accountability to anyone.

He further said an independent commission needs to be formed for raising salaries of a person like the MD of WASA that would consider the income and expenditure of the institution other issues and take public opinion into account.

* The report, originally published in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten for English edition by Shameem Reza

Read more from City
Post Comment
Advertisement
Advertisement