Padma Bridge: Take stern action against graft: TIB

Padma Bridge: Take stern action against graft: TIB

In the wake of the World Bank decision to revive its loan agreement to the Padma Bridge project, the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has urged the government to take the correct lesson out of the experience so that it does not face any recurrence of such self-embarrassment in the days to come.

In a statement on Friday, TIB executive director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said the World Bank decision may be viewed now as a diplomatic gain for the government.

“However, taking the proper lesson out of the whole episode, it must firmly abandon the denial syndrome of rejecting allegations of corruption and take these seriously to ensure due investigation free from any bias or influence so that exemplary action is taken against those found guilty without any fear or favour. Failing this, a possible sense of satisfaction in the corridors of the government can be short-lived”, he said.

He said the government’s failure to act promptly, as soon as allegation of corruption arose, has not only undermined its own credibility, but also led to the possibility of depriving the people of the country of a highly important development opportunity.

Dr Iftekharuzzaman said the government should be aware that there is no reason to believe that the World Bank’s decision to come back by itself help regain the trust of the people of the country showing respect to its own electoral pledges against corruption.

“To achieve that, the government must ensure strong and faultless measures to prevent all forms of illicit act and conflict of interest, particularly collusive corruption involving people in positions of power.”

TIB executive director demanded taking stern actions against corruption in connection with Padma Bridge and other high profile corruption cases like the stock market, Destiny, Hall-Mark and Sonali Bank scam.

The government cannot ignore that frustration due to a deepening culture of impunity is no more limited to people outside the government but also a lot of those within, he added.

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