Wednesday, 20 October, 2021

‘Cabinet members have to submit wealth statement’

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 8 September, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Cabinet members have to submit their wealth statement as per the government servant rules, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said on Tuesday.

“As per the Government Servants (Conduct) Rules-1979, ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers have to submit wealth statement during their five-year tenure,” the state minister said. 

He came up with the remark while addressing a meet-the-press programme organised by the Bangladesh Secretariat Reporters Forum (BSRF) at the Secretariat in the capital.

The junior minister said they want to extend government services and ensure accountability and transparency. “As per the law, government employees have to submit wealth statement every five year. A letter has been issued to the ministries and departments in this regard,” Farhad said.

“Ministers have to submit wealth statement too. We will submit wealth statement at least once during the entire tenure as we have been appointed for five years,” he added. Farhad Hossain said ministers submit income tax returns regularly and a journalist can also collect copies of minister’s income tax returns under the Right to Information Act.

“Once, government officials used to pay income tax as per their wish. Now everyone has to pay income tax compulsorily,” he said.

About the public servants’ behavior with people, the junior minister said there is no tradition in the country to address a government official as ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’. Misbehavior of a government official with a citizen is tantamount to corruption,” he said.

Replying to a question, Farhad said, “Sir means gentleman, there is no such rule in the rules of business, and there is also no custom for addressing a government official ‘madam’.

Quoting a speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the government employees, Farhad said, Bangabandhu’s directive was -- “look at those who come for service, they are like your father, brother and relative.”

“People come to a public servant for getting services. Salary comes from their money. We want to implement Bangabandhu’s directives. We give the same instructions to the field administration,” he said.

“It’s very important to serve them with a smile. Misbehavior is tantamount to corruption. There should be an attitude of providing service as much as possible in accordance with to the law,” he added

Talking over punishment to the officials of administration, the junior minister said some 55 officials have been given punishment on various charges.

“From January 7, 2019 to September 5, 2021, some 55 officers of the administration cadre have been given light and severe sentence. Some 49 more cases over breach of discipline are pending,” he said.

Asked whether there was growing rift between politicians and government officials, Farhad said, “We need to know how many incidents have taken place. Barishal incident is an isolated one. Public representatives and government officials are working sincerely amid the corona pandemic. I’m trying to find out the reason for the incidents that have taken place some places,” he said.