Allegations of corruption against RAJUK staff is nothing new. Governments have come and gone, officers have come and gone but the number of allegations of corruption has only increased. Not only RAJUK, but also all the government-owned service providing agencies have tons of allegations of corruption against them.
A spokeperson of Transparency International Bangladesh has recently said that RAJUK and corruption have become synonymous, which is applicable for other government organisations as well.
RAJUK’s approval is needed to erect buildings or any other establishment and people need to bribe the staffs to get itm at times the bribe exceeds millions.
But people might get surprised seeing the reaction of the housing and public works minister on the TIB report because he has created such a reputation after taking his charges as a minister that it seems he is personally interested to take the anti-corruption drives forward.
The media reports on wholesale corruption by 34 officers of the Rooppur Plant is considered as a milestone in terms of anti-corruption movement in the country. At a press conference he confessed that 30 among the accused are from his ministry. He even appreciated the role of the media and said this has helped the authorities to go deep into the issue.
However, just after six months he has termed the TIB report baseless, which contradicts his previous statement. Then again, we do not know if he has expressed his standing as a part of the government. But truth will not be forever concealed.
The TIB and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) have so far done their jobs by maintaining mutual respect. The government organisations should maintain a good working relation with TIB.
Whenever a foreign or local think tank publishes a report on corruption, the government organisations tend to term them baseless. Almost always this has been the case, regardless of who is in power—Awami League or BNP.
We are not saying that the TIB data are flawless, but people have the right to know accurate information. The organisations where people have to go every now and then—land office, revenue office, passport office, education board—see more bribes handed to the staff.
If the allegations are just based on general assumption, the authorities should look into them and make public the truth.
TIB has challenged RAJUK’s good governance and recommended 14 points to bring about changes. Recommendations like legal and legislative reforms, fair allotment of flats to the victims, finalisation of the DAP and punishment to the corrupt staff should be implemented on a priority basis.
We hope RAJUk will do an internal enquiry and TIB will provide them necessary support. If the service organisation cannot bring transparency to its work, such complaints will continue to surface.