Saturday, July 4, 2020 | ePaper

Don't spend public money for personal enjoyment

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WASTING public money availing foreign trips by a section of bureaucrats in the name of training, seminars, workshops and other less-important reasons is an old practice.  Their experience gaining from foreign trips doesn't bring any good for common people. It is alleged that most of the trips are pleasure-trips where officials mostly remain busy in shopping and sightseeing. In December last year, a team of soon-to-retire engineers along with an administration official visited the US and the UK on a two-week trip in the name of learning about digging canals, protecting river banks, restoring embankments, and dredging rivers, which they had been doing for over three decades. The trip was part of a Tk195-crore project implemented by Dockyard and Engineering Works Limited, an enterprise of Bangladesh Navy. The government officials had no direct role, except coordinating, in the project implementation. Only three days before their scheduled trip, the officials failed to say what advanced knowledge they were hoping to gain and from which institutions.
The foreign visit was proposed under Bakkhali River Flood Control, Drainage, Irrigation and Dredging project. The three-and-a-half-year project is scheduled to be completed in June this year. The officers were shown as on-duty while on the trip and they were able to draw regular salaries and allowances. It is unlikely that the country would get benefit from such an expensive trip by the almost-retired officers. An influential minister who got an international recognition a few years back for her unnecessary foreign trips wasting millions of taka, allegedly availed several hundred trips and some of them were totally unnecessary .
Not only that specific person, several examples can be cited here where a number of government officials and even ministers avail unnecessary foreign trips. Most of the time, the foreign trips are arranged only for their personal enjoyment.

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