Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tenders: the root of corruption in Bangladesh

Bangladesh was 3rd in the corrupted countries index published by Transparency International in 2006. Corruption in Bangladesh is deeply rooted in the development and administrative works undertaken by the Bangladesh government. The main incentive for the politicians to get engaged in the development of infrastructure of Bangladesh lies within the tender culture. From the student activists to the top level politicians, everyone gets a fair share of money from the administrative and development works undertaken by the government.

The other day, I was speaking to some of the government officials who have served at the Bangladesh government secretariat. One of them told me that, whenever a tender is called, the corrupted officials and the politicians keep at least 30% of the money in their own pocket. Therefore, the contractors do substandard work due to lack of fund. We see that, every year in rainy season how the holes become evident in the streets due to the lack of proper ingredients in preparation of the streets in Dhaka. Moreover, there are digging that goes on in the pavements and streets all year long for no apparent reason. The reason for these meaningless digging is actually to eyewash the public so that the contractors and accomplishes can engulf the public money.

Few days ago, I read Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s autobiography, where he stated that, once he was told by one of his ministry to do some repair work of a dam in Pakistan. He was quoted an amount which was requested to be allocated as budge for the repair work. But he got suspicious and asked army to check if the repairing was needed on the dam. The army worked on that and advised there is no need of a repair work on the dam. Musharraf then rejected the request for fund for the dam. The dam is still working properly. He later wrote on his autobiography, had he given the fund to those corrupted officials to do the repair work, the money would’ve been sucked in by them.

I think similar sort of stance should be taken by Bangladeshi leadership as well. Here is the main problem, every single government Bangladesh had had since its inception was corrupted. Year by year, this corruption has increased. There have been no check and balance, as the people who are supposed to do the check and balance are themselves corrupted. This is a vicious circle in which the Bangladesh people are in. Bangladesh needs an honest leader who can change it all. But within the current political framework of Bangladesh, no honest person can be a political leader. Even if someone wasn’t corrupted before he joined politics, he would need to be corrupted just to survive in the politics. The more I see, the more I get frustrated.

1 comment:

Tanvir I Kamal said...

Hahahahaha...U gotta be a wise monkey Bro..That;s what the Bangldeshi Public are! Do we have any other choice?