Comitted to PEOPLE'S RIGHT TO KNOW
Vol. 4 Num 77 Tue. August 12, 2003  
   
Front Page


JS body unhappy at LGRD's snail's pace in fulfilling pledge


The local government, rural development and cooperatives ministry is soft-pedalling on the implementation of assurances it has made in the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) since October 2001, a JS body observed yesterday.

While reviewing the assurances at a meeting yesterday, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Government Assurances expressed dissatisfaction at the implementation of only 22 of 98 pledges made so far.

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and the minister, state minister and former deputy minister of the ministry made the assurances in the first seven sessions of the present parliament until May this year.

"With so many assurances standing unimplemented, it will be difficult to realise those in near future if things move this way," Moulana Abdus Sobhan, chairman of the committee, told The Daily Star yesterday.

The top officials of the ministry showed fund constraints as the excuse for non-implementation of the pledges.

The committee asked the ministry to implement the assurances immediately so that people enjoyed their benefits.

The committee also decided to ask all ministries to send reports on progress in implementation of their assurances every three months.

"We will monitor realisation of the promises by all other ministries,'' Mostafa Kamal Pasha, member of the committee, told The Daily Star yesterday.

The officials of the ministry told the meeting that in the current parliament the prime minister gave only one assurance -- reintroduction of the gram sarkar, the lowest tier of the local government bodies which is now under implementation.

Others were made by Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, State Minister Ziaul Haq Zia and Deputy Minister Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu, who was given the land portfolio in the last reshuffle of the council of ministers.

Most assurances were given on the construction of roads, highways, culverts and bridges under the local government division.

Of the promises, 22 have been implemented fully, 11 partially and 62 are under implementation that means only paperwork has been initiated. Three others go unimplemented.

No assurances were given by the ministers on the rural development and co-operatives division.

In the seventh parliament from 1996-2001, 135 assurances were given on local government division. Of those, 96 were implemented fully and eight partially. Twenty are under implementation and 11 were never taken up for actualisation.

The then prime minister gave eight assurances on rural development and co-operatives division. Of them, five were implemented fully, two partially and one was not taken up for realisation.

Committee sources said 31 ministries sent their reports on assurances until yesterday. Other ministries were asked to come up with their reports by August 15.

The committee decided to critique health ministry pledges at its next meeting slated for August 25. But the ministry did not send its report until yesterday, prompting the committee to send a letter to the ministry asking to submit the report by August 15.

Abdus Sobhan presided over the meeting at the Sangsad Bhaban. Committee members Alamgir Haider Khan, Mostafa Kamal Pasha, SA Sultan, Mia Golam Mohammad Parwar and officials concerned attended the meeting.