Govt pins on “special plan” to bring down graft at “zero level”: PM

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SANGSAD BHABAN, Nov 13, 2019 (BSS) – Asserting that the government’s anti-graft drive would continue in all sectors, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said it (government) has a “special plan” to bring down corruption at “zero level” by further strengthening the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

“The Awami League government has undertaken a zero tolerance policy against corruption for benefiting the country’s people and building a graft-free country,” she told the parliament while responding to a starred question placed by Jatiya Party lawmaker Syed Abu Hossain (Dhaka-4).

The Leader of the House said the government is committed to continuing drives against militancy, drug and corruption.

“The ongoing drive of the government against all social crimes including graft, narcotics, drug and gambling will continue in all spheres including districts, upazilas and poursabhas,” she said.

“We’ve a special plan to bring down graft at “zero level” by further strengthening the Anti-Corruption Commission and mass awareness campaign as well as applying modern technologies,” she added.

The prime minister said the present government is pledged to ensure socioeconomic development and administrative infrastructure based on good governance for public welfare and build a welfare state by wiping out the roots of corruption.

She said the stern action of the law enforcement agencies against the drug dealers and peddlers is underway and the operation will continue.

Sheikh Hasina said many terrorists have surrendered to the law enforcement agencies and their drive will continue until the terrorism is stamped out.

The Leader of the House said the independent Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is working to root out graft. The ACC has started searching and investigations against the corrupts by seizing their bank accounts, she said.

The prime minister said under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2021, legal actions are being taken against the corrupts involved in amassing money illegally and siphoning off money abroad.

Sheikh Hasina said the law enforcement agencies have already demolished casino dens and handed over the culprits involved in the illegal business to the courts to bring them to justice.

“Strict surveillance of the law enforcement agencies is continuing so that none could run such type of illegal activities in future,” she said.

The PM said the ACC is pledge-bound to contain and resist grafts and the commission has been working to bring all corrupt people under the law.

“Besides, the political leaders and activists, legal actions are being taken against all people including government employees involved in corruption,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the ACC has so far conducted 407 instant drives since July 2019 and arrested 68 accused this year. “The commission remains active to continue such drives throughout the year,” she said.

Mentioning that Bangladesh is playing its proper role in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the premier said she instructed the ACC, the Home Ministry and the Foreign Ministry to take steps following the Sections 6(3) and 46 (13) of the UNCAC to bring back the money laundered abroad.

She said the government has formulated different polices and implementing those following the National Integrity Strategy.

Besides, the prime minister said, steps have been taken to ensure transparency and accountably by using ICT in corruption prevention.

She said the government is implementing a three-year ‘Anti-Corruption Commission Strengthening Project’ and a US$ 8 lakh technical project with support from Asian Development Bank (ADB) and South Korea aiming to strengthen the capacity of the national anti-graft agency.

To set up automation in the ACC, Sheikh Hasina said, IT support service system and digital archiving will be installed, and a digital forensic lab and an internet protocol television (IPTV) will be established in the national anti-graft agency under these projects.

As the government has taken various efforts, the ACC as an independent body has launched probes against many influential people and institutions on graft allegations during the tenure of the present government, she said.

The prime minister said the ACC has already introduced toll-free hotline – 106 – which has been receiving graft allegations from common people.

“The ACC has launched e-tendering in its procurement activities,” she said.

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