Corruption increases than before, planning minister tells parliament

Planning minister MA Mannan
File photo

The corruption across the country has increased in many areas than before, planning minister MA Mannan has said.

While replying to the criticism of the members of parliament (MP) of the opposition party during a discussion on the passage of the 'Bangladesh Public Procurement Authority Bill' in the national parliament on Sunday, the minister admitted the fact that corruption has increased

An opposition parliament member made an allegation that there are corruptions in many projects.

Replying to the allegation the minister said, “They (the MPs took part in the discussion) all agree on one thing, I also agree with them. Corruption has increased in many areas."

Planning minister MA Mannan
File photo

Now 2-3-4 times public money is being spent compared to 30-40 years ago. As a result, the facilities…the opportunities of embezzlement have increased.

"I would say it’s a national problem. By forming laws, using current technologies, by creating vox populi, presenting clarity to people, this (corruption) will be gradually reduced," MA Mannan noted.

The planning minister said, as a minister he cannot approve any tender. It is finalised through some process. Even if doubt persists after that, the continuous attempt must be ongoing keeping aside the fear of that ghost.

Earlier, during the discussion on the bill, Gono Forum MP Mokabbir Khan said that tender manipulation has been stopped. But it has not benefited the state.

A section of bureaucrats, business personnel and politicians consider the current tender system safe and launder billions of taka under its cover. There are a myriad of examples of this, such as buying curtains, buying pillows.

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Jatiya Party MP Shamim Haider Patwary alleged, earlier the corruption would be 10 per cent, 20 per cent. Now, the work is done 10 per cent, 20 per cent while in some cases 70 per cent of corruption takes place.

He said many unnecessary mega projects have been undertaken. Had these could be halted, the economy of the country would have been better now. No return is being yielded from many unnecessary projects.

The JaPa MP said, he does not believe the minister does not have the capacity to understand these. But, due to the excess concentration of power if a wise minister even wants to block these projects, he does not have that capacity to do so as there is no ‘supporting institution.’

He said the country’s macroeconomy is in jeopardy. Banks are exposed to huge danger. Panic is struck in the market and it cannot be said now at what price dollar is being sold at the kerb market. Foreign remittance is decreasing. He blames the difference in dollar price in the bank and kerb market for this.

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The Bangladesh Public Procurement Authority Bill, 2023 was passed in the parliament after the verification of public opinion on the bill, sending it to the selection committee and settling the amendment proposals.

It is said that the government will establish an authority called 'Bangladesh Public Procurement Authority (BPPA)' to increase efficiency and create professionalism in government procurement management. The Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) will be abolished with the coming into force of this act.

BPPA will have a board of directors of 17 members. However, the government can increase or decrease the number of members if it wants. Planning minister will be the chairman of this authority.

And the government will appoint someone experienced in government procurement as the chief executive officer. This authority shall have a fund. BPPA can contract for any person or organisation to perform its functions.