The current parliament during its first session to 18th session suffered a total of 152 hours 17 minutes for quorum crisis that cost more than Tk 125.20 crore, according to a Transparency International Bangladesh study report released on Thursday.
The TIB published the report styled ‘Parliament Watch covering 14th to 18th session from January to December 2017 of the 10th Jatiya Sangsad’ at a news conference at its office in Dhaka.
The research report stated that the five sessions from 14th to 18th session experienced a total of about 38 hours 03 minutes quorum crisis, monetary value of which was about Tk 37.37 crore.
The average quorum crisis in each working day was 30 minutes, the monetary value of which was estimated at Tk 49.10 lakh, the report said adding that quorum crisis remained the same as the ninth parliament suffered 32 minutes quorum crisis on an average in each working day.
The report stated that the 10th parliament during its five sessions (14th to 18th ) spent only 9 per cent of the total time of parliament activities in formulating
On an average nearly 35 minutes were discussed for passing a bill, the report said saying in India it takes on an average two hours 23 minutes.
TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman at the news conference said it reflected that lawmakers particularly the treasury bench members were more reluctant to participate in the law formulating
He said the present parliament so far failed to play its role in establishing good governance, accountability of the government and checking corruption.
The 10th parliament started its journey following a ‘one-sided’ general election held in January 5, 2014 boycotted by most of the political parties including the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
The five year tenure of the present parliament would be expired in January 2019.
The TIB executive director said the organisation’s previous remark that incumbent main opposition in parliament had been suffering from ‘self-identity crisis’ from the beginning was justified as same remark was uttered by the opposition lawmakers at the end of the present parliament session.
Iftekhar said they have got the information from secondary sources but reliable that the prime minister’s special envoy without naming Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad’s monthly expenditure from government exchequer around Tk five lakh , saying they have tried but could not get information from the government to this end.
He said the government and the party concerned should make it public.
The TIB spokesman said the government did not publish any circular or gazette notification about nature of responsibility of the prime minister’s special envoy.
Whatever was learnt from the statements of the special envoy that his duty was to portray the image of Bangladesh as modern Muslim country before world, he said adding that TIB did not find performing this job during the envoy’s visits to different countries.
The parliamentary standing committees could not hold all the meeting as per rule for establishing accountability due to interests leading person concerned involved with different issues.
The TIB executive director, however, said the treasury bench members in some cases raised voice against the government’s proposals and corruption of different ministries but no action was seen.
The TIB gave a 14-point recommendations for making parliament including to take necessary steps to formulate as law the rule of conduct the parliament member bill recommended by the committee in 9th parliament, more strong role of the Speaker to stop unparliamentary language in parliament and placing international agreements for discussion in parliament.
The report pointed out six challenges including continuation trend of not presenting international agreements before parliament session through president.
TIB chairman Sultana Kamal also spoke at the news conference.
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