Dhaka, 16th February 2013. Today seventeen rights based organizations and networks organized a human chain in front of the National Press Club demanding quick disposal of audit objections and expressed mass dissatisfaction on the corruption and embezzlement of public money. The speeches in the demonstration was moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD where the other speakers were Hena Chowdhury of Jatiya Sramik Jote, Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, Jayed Iqbal Khan of Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Badrul Alam of La Via Campesina Bangladesh Group, and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD.
Participant organizations and networks in the rally were (by alphabetic order) AMKS, Arpon, Asset, Bangladesh Bhumihin Shomity, Bangladesh Kishani Shova, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, CDP, EquityBD, Huminity Watch, Jatiya Sramik Jote, La Via Campesina Bangladesh Group, Online Knowledge Society, PRAN, Prantajan Trust, SA Foundation, Udayan Bangladesh, United People Trust, Unnayan Dhara Trust and VOICE.
In position paper distributed during the street program the group said that since independence of the country so far there are audit objections reported on embezzlement of public money was around 500 billion Taka by which two Padma Bridge could be built. Most of the audit objections found in the Government Banking sector, Power and Petroleum Ministry, Railway Ministry, Communication Ministry, public works department, Bangladesh Biman, Health Ministry and Export Promotion Bureau.
The demonstration have given following specific demand in this regard: (i) All public audit report must be placed in the website of the Comptroller of Auditor General (CAG), (ii) Officials who are accused should be suspended until the audit objections are resolved, (iii) Ban on government officials taking allowances for training facilitation, (iv) Include audit objections in individual official’s Annual Confidential Report, and (v) Parliamentary Standing Committee should proactively raise the regular discussion on audit objections in the parliamentary sessions.
It should be noted that CAG has submitted the audit report of the last three fiscal years (2008-11) to the President and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on the last 23rd December 2012. The speakers in the demonstration demand immediate official action on the findings of this report.
In conclusion Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD said that the rampant corruption and audit objections are shame for our government and political leaders to beg foreign assistance for poverty alleviation of the country. We have to show accountability and transparency on the use of public money. He also demands action oriented strengthening and transparency of report publication of CAG.