Dhaka, Bangladesh
Catch briber and bribed both: PM

Graft grabs JS attention

Catch briber and bribed both: PM

News Desk Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina warned that both the briber and the bribed would get caught, no matter whoever they may be, as her government is carrying out anti-graft combat. "To give and to take bribe both are offences," she said in parliament Wednesday as a graft episode involving an ACC director and a police official figured high during Prime Minister's question hour in the House. The prime minister, also the Awami League chief, further issued a note of caution that even anyone from her party fold wouldn't be spared if found indulged in corrupt practices. "It needs to bring one's own house in order first," Sheikh Hasina told the lawmakers. She said those associated with corruption prevention and control should take care so that such public perception is not created. She was also critical of media hype in these matters. "All (ACC staff) are not innocent. No one can guarantee that all are 100 percent honest," the Prime Minister told parliament in reply to a supplementary question from ruling Awami League MP Major (retd) Rafiqul Islam (Chandpur-5). "The ACC will have to be careful from now on about those (ACC staff) who will work [investigate] so that they can't indulge in such activities as create such public perception," Sheikh Hasina said. In his question, Rafiqul Islam demanded Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury expunge the words-many staff of ACC are involved in corruption-from the question of Jatiya Party MP Rowshan Ara Mannan (Reserved Seat-47) that was raised before the Prime Minister. However, the Prime Minister opposed his demand, saying there is nothing wrong with Rowshan Ara Mannan's question. "The MP (Rowshan Ara Mannan in her question) mentioned there's a public perception, but didn't say they're certainly involved in corruption. So, there is no need to expunge those words because it is not totally false," the PM said. In reply to Rowshan Ara's question, Hasina said her government has a special plan to gradually reduce graft to a zero level through strengthening the ACC, raising public awareness and using modern information technology. "The government is determined to uplift socioeconomic condition and establish a good governance-based administrative structure for building a welfare country," she added. Hasina said there is no need to form a separate agency comprising manpower from different elite force as the ACC now gets cooperation from any government agency whenever the anti-graft body seeks. Mentioning that the ACC is an independent and autonomous body, she said the commission explores and investigates any corruption allegation neutrally. Therefore, the trend of corruption among staff and officials of different ministries and departments is decreasing gradually, said the Prime Minister. (Inputs taken from UNB, live media coverage)

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