A parliamentary watchdog on Wednesday bitterly criticised some activities at public administration ministry for its lax role in unearthing a motive for its officials’ meeting with BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Members of the parliamentary standing committee on public administration ministry said the officials plotted against the government but the ministry neither published names of the officials nor took action against them.
It is still shrouded in mystery as to who attended the meeting and what was the motive for such meeting, they wondered.
Committee members ABM Fazlul Karim Chowdhury, RAM Ubaidul Muktadir Chowdhury, Sukumar Ranjan Ghosh, Mustafa Lutfullah and Khorshed Ara Haque attended the meeting with its chairman HN Ashiqur Rahman in the chair.
State Minister for Public Administration Ismat Ara Sadek also attended the meeting on a special invitation.
Venting their anger, the lawmakers said the administration cannot run in this way. They recommended that the government look into the matter seriously and take action against the reported officials.
Meeting sources said Lutfullah of Workers Party raised the issue in the meeting.
“Conspiracies are being hatched against the government after the January 5 polls. As part of the conspiracies, some officials held the meeting with Khaleda Zia. How does the government turn a blind eye when some state officials hatch conspiracies against an elected government?”
“What’s going on at public administration [ministry]? It should be looked into,” he queried.
Supporting his statement, committee members told the meeting that the matter should not be taken lightly.
Taking part in the discussion, Ismat said the government does not sit idle. “The issue has been investigated. Action has already been taken against some of the officials. The rest would face the music.”
After her statement, Lutfullah said termination is not enough for the culprits. “Administrative action aside, legal action should also be taken against them. If necessary, they should be charged with sedition cases to avert recurrence of such incident.”
The meeting also expressed a strong resentment while discussing promotions of officials under the ministry. It demanded explanation from the minister as the law was not followed while promoting them.
The lawmakers alleged that due process is not being followed while promoting the officials as many inefficient officials are being promoted in some cases.
The ministry apprised the committee that some 307 additional secretaries are now working against the post of 108, 931 joint secretaries against the post of 430, 1,315 deputy secretaries against the post of 830 and 2,700 senior assistant secretaries against the post of 1,700.
It is not possible to promote the officials right now as promotions have been given in the past on a large scale, it said, adding that eligible officials are not deprived rather aspirants are not getting promotions for lack of posts.
The meeting was also told that public administration has been under pressure for promotions of secretary, additional; secretary, joint secretary and deputy secretary.