Reaffirming her government’s tough stance against corruption, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday directed the Public Administration Ministry to issue a strong warning against graft by field-level administrations.
‘Your specific directives must reach the administrations at the grassroots level that tough action will be taken if anyone resorts to corruption,’ she said while visiting the public administration ministry in the morning.
The prime minister wondered why there should be corrupt practices when the government enhanced the salaries, allowances and other privileges of the public servants significantly. ‘They [public servants] must change their mindset.’
She emphasised ensuring good governance and building a corruption-free administration for achieving the government’s goal to take the benefits of development to the doorsteps of common people.
Sheikh Hasina, also the public administration minister, said the salient feature of the country’s development is the current low inflation rate amid the rapid economic growth. ‘Many countries can’t control the inflation during their speedy economic growth.’
Noting that Bangladesh has been able to keep the inflation rate within 5.4 per cent to 5.5 per cent, Hasina said the common people can directly enjoy the benefits of the high growth and low inflation.
The prime minister said Bangladesh achieved 7.86 per cent GDP growth in the 2017-18 fiscal year, which was higher than the 7.40 per cent target. Now her government’s target is to raise the growth to double-digit one within the next five years.
‘Since we’ve been elected for five years, our target will be to raise the growth to 10 per cent in these five years. And it’s possible to achieve that,’ she added.
About corruption, Haisna said, ‘We also announced zero-tolerance against corruption as we did so against terrorism, militancy and drug.’
Mentioning that the government has been able to control militancy and is now conducting drives against drug, she said the drive against corruption will also continue.
Since BNP-Jamaat unleashed arson violence in the name of resisting the 2014 election, the people rejected them completely, which has been reflected in the December-30 election too, the prime minister said.
She said her government is trying to continue its efforts developing the country. ‘So, you’ve greater responsibilities to accomplish all this,’ the prime minister said pointing at the officials of the public administration.
Terming the public administration the heart of the government, she urged the officials to work sincerely and competently. ‘We’ve made huge progress. We’ll have to continue this journey of progress.’
Hasina said she changed the name of the public administration Ministry from the previous name of establishment ministry to remind the officials of their responsibilities to serve people.
Reiterating that the country has now turned into Digital Bangladesh, she stressed the use of modern technology and digital system to ensure accountability and transparency in the administration.
About training of the civil servants, Hasina said there is no alternative to training to develop an efficient administration.
The prime minister said the annual performance agreement and integrity strategy introduced by her government so that the officials concerned can learn about their responsibilities in advance.
Referring to the Public Services Act, she said, it was passed in Parliament to make civil servants more confident. Hasina vowed to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence in 2021 as a poverty- and hunger-free country as well as establish a developed and prosperous country by the year 2041.
Mentioning that the size of the national budget was increased to more than Tk four lakh crore from only Tk 61,000 crore in 2005-06 fiscal year, she put emphasis on the proper use of this huge amount of money for the country’s further advancement.
The public administration ministry is the first among the ministries where the prime minister visited after forming the government for third consecutive term following her party’s landslide victory in the 11th parliamentary election.
The prime minister said she also visited the ministries during her previous term to gear up their activities for taking government services to the doorsteps of people.
State minister for public administration ministry Farhad Hossain and public administration secretary Faiz Ahmed also spoke on the occasion.
Prime minister’s principal secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, principal coordinator (SDG Affairs) at the PMO Abul Kalam Azad, PMO secretary Sajjadul Hassan and PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim were present.
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