NHRC chairman against tax-free import of cars by MPs
Reported by: UNBconnect
Reported on: Jan 25, 2012 03:15 pm
Reported in: National
Dhaka, Jan 25 (UNB) - Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Prof Dr Mizanur Rahman on Wednesday criticised the provision of tax-free import of cars by the members of parliament.
“In a country where patients lie in hospital beds unfed, how do the members of parliament import cars free of tax? It’s a question of morality,” he told the inaugural session of a convention at Biam auditorium in the city.
Governance Coalition, an alliance of non-government organisations, in association with the European Union (EU) and Oxfam Bangladesh organised the National Convention 2012 on the role of the state and people in protecting civic rights and ensuring public services.
Chaired by chairperson of the Governance Advocacy Forum and PKSF chairman Prof Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmed, the opening session was addressed, among others, by chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on agriculture Showkat Momen Shahjahan, teacher of Dhaka University Prof MM Akash and Oxfam country director Gareth Price-Jones.
Dr Mizanu said there is a big gap between the state and people, and if it could not be minimised, it will be impossible to establish a welfare state.
Criticising the role of physicians, he said the government has to spend huge money on every medical student for becoming a doctor. But, the doctors are not willing to go to rural areas and reach the healthcare services to the doorsteps of the poor.
“The healthcare facilities for the poor can’t be ensued by these doctors… this can’t be allowed to continue. It has to be changed,” he said.
Voicing his dissatisfaction over the role of professionals, the NHRC chairman said, “At first, we’ve to be a human being. I may be a doctor, an engineer or a teacher, but if I don’t become a human being, the existing state of misrule won’t go.”
He suggested taking effective steps to combat corruption to establish the rule of law and reach government services to the doorsteps of rural people.
Dr Mizan said about 70 percent of the people who live in rural areas are not corrupt. “Only a small section of society - so-called educated - is involved in corruption.”
Asking the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) not to brand Bangladesh as a corrupt country, he said: “The people of Bangladesh aren’t corrupt… over a billion, the majority of the population, are honest.”
The NHRC chairman urged all to be aware of upholding democracy so that any anti-democratic force cannot capture state power again.
Prof Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman stressed proper utilisation of public resources and implementation of the government pledges to reach the government facilities to all.
He suggested forming farmers associations across the country so that they can get the fair prices of their agricultural produces.