Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud addresses the ‘NIMC Media Award’ organised by National Institute of Mass Communication (NIMC) in Dhaka on 27 February 2023

Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud on Monday said Bangladesh is ahead of the United States in many cases of transparency and accountability, reports news agency BSS.

“Every candidate has to submit a tax or income tax files during any election whether it is local government, mayoral or parliament elections in Bangladesh. But, Donald Trump who was the president of the US didn’t complete his tax or income tax file till today.

“So, we are ahead of the US in many cases of transparency. And everyone has to submit the file in our country,” he said.

The minister was addressing the ‘NIMC Media Award’ organised by National Institute of Mass Communication (NIMC) in the capital.

Secretary, coordination and reform wing, cabinet division Md. Mahmudul Hossain Khan addressed the function as special guest with NIMC director general Shahin Islam in the chair.

Joint secretary of the cabinet division Ayesha Akther, attaché of the European Union to Bangladesh Fani Farmaki, Platform for Development Project Team leader Arsen Stepanyan, and British Council, Bangladesh country director Tom Miscioscia, among others, addressed as guests of honour.

Hasan Mahmud, also joint general secretary of ruling Awami League, said the project has been taken by the cabinet division as the government put emphasis on good governance. They are informing people how and what benefits they can get in government offices as the countrymen don’t know about many issues, he added.

He said many common people don’t know about the Right to Information Act. Even, many journalists don’t know about the act well, he added.

Hasan said the act was passed in parliament after Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina forming the government in 2009. The Information Commission has been formed under the law.

About 110,000 applications have been solved till now after forming the Information Commission, he continued.

He said there is no need to steal any pages of files from any office. Many have applied through the Information Commission after not getting information from any government or private office and the commission has settled it. There are many such precedents, he added.

The minister said every state, whether it is the US, the European Union or the UK or any other country, has some secrets that are not exposable. But there is so much misconception in the country (Bangladesh) that everything has to be ‘public’, which is not right, he added.

The government, he said, has ensured transparency and accountability. It was a regular event of snatching or fighting in the pages of newspaper before 12 to 14 years ago when a tender was placed somewhere, he added.

But, e-tendering has ensured transparency, said Hasan.

He said paper files are also required along with the e-files for preservation.

Ten journalists were awarded in the function. Hasan handed over crests and certificates to the recipients.