Vol. 4 Num 343 Tue. May 18, 2004  
Front Page

Saifur for e-vote

Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman yesterday said all political parties and civil society members should unite in favour of introducing electronic voting system to ensure a smooth, sharp and reliable electoral system.

Apparently encouraged by the success of e-voting in Indian general election, Saifur said this at a function organised by Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) marking the World Telecommunications Day at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.

He, however, came down heavily upon the politicians for their refusal to accept the electoral outcomes.

"Our politicians maintain a culture that indulges raising indiscriminate allegations of rigging when defeated in the poll," said the minister in his speech as the chief guest.

Post and Telecommunications Minister M Aminul Hoque and Telecommunications Secretary Faruq Ahmad Siddiqi addressed the function as special guests.

Telecommunications minister in his speech said the government is committed to developing the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

"The country would have a tremendous boost in ICT when it would be connected with the global information super highway via submarine cable by July 2005," Hoque said.

Telecommunications Secretary Faruq Ahmad Siddiqi said, "BTTB has provided Internet facilities to all district headquarters and has a plan to expand those facilities to upazillas by the end of next year."

He said BTTB will also make two lakh more telephone connections by the next year.

SM Munir Ahmed, general manager, Dhaka Telecommunication region (South) and AKM Habibur Rahman, divisional engineer, jointly presented a theme paper entitled "ICTs: leading the way to sustainable development".

In the paper they depicted the wide disparity between the developed and developing countries in terms of telecommunication capacity. While the developed world is almost glutted with telecommunication facilities, a basic telephone connection eludes one and half a million villages in the developing world, the speakers observed.

The problem is not one of shortage of resources but of distribution and the lack of global policy perspective, they pointed out.