Committed to PEOPLE'S RIGHT TO KNOW
Vol. 5 Num 156 Thu. October 28, 2004  
   
General


Greater empowerment of local govt bodies suggested


Speakers at a workshop yesterday called for greater empowerment of local government bodies to institutionalise democracy and ensure good governance.

They also called on the lawmakers to play a more pro-active role in parliament and local government bodies in this regard.

The Khan Foundation organised the workshop on 'Role of MPs in local government' at Democracy Auditorium in the city.

The speakers pointed out that conflict between the lawmakers and the representatives of local government is a major obstacle to rural development.

The key role of MPs is to make laws and formulate policies on national issues, but they are more engaged in distributing rice and wheat allocated by the government and constructing roads and culverts in their constituencies, said Opposition Whip Faruk Khan.

The government should stop allocating rice and wheat in the name of MPs, he said, adding that local government should be entrusted with the local development activities.

Whip M Ashraf Hossain said most of the MPs are businessmen and they are more interested in making money than in dealing with the local problems.

He said that although Gram Sarker units have been in place, they have no role to play in the development of rural areas.

He called on the lawmakers to help representatives of local government implement development projects. z said the MPs should act as a bridge between the central government and the local government bodies.

He also called for decentralising the administration and specifying the duties of the MPs and the representatives of local governments.

For a sustainable democracy and development, the lawmakers should work in joint efforts with the local governments as consultants and coordinators, Dr Moyeen added.

Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu, Khulna City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman, Syed Manzur Hossain MP, KM Jahangir MP, Mahbubur Rahman MP, Joint Editor of the Prothom Alo Abdul Qaiyum, UP Chairman Sirajul Islam, Hasna Hena, and NGO representative SM Shah also spoke.

Picture
Minister for Science and Information & Communication Technology Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, third from left, speaks at a workshop on 'Role of MPs in local government' at Democracy Auditorium in the city yesterday. On his right areRajshahi City Corporation Mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu and advocate Rokhsana Khandoker and on his left are Whip M Ashraf Hossain, Khulna City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman and Md Faruk Khan MP.