Staff Reporter :
Reaffirming that corruption will not be tolerated, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday asked the top government officials to keep more vigil against corruption so that this menace does not affect the country’s development in any way.
“We’ll never tolerate this (corruption), all will be held responsible for their own duties, and all will’ve to perform their duties properly. All must keep it in mind that development must not be affected in any way because of graft,” she said.
The prime minister said this at a function at her office marking the signing of the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) of ministries and their subordinate bodies.
She asked the senior secretaries and secretaries to various ministries and divisions to give directives to their colleagues up to the grassroots level about graft and make them aware in this regard.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is currently formulating its annual budget with its own resources. “Self-dignity is evolving within us gradually, we must retain it. To resist corruption, there should be the practice of virtuousness … you’ve to take steps so that people can reap the good results through the state,” she said.
The Prime Minister also said it would be very much regretful if every achievement of the government that comes through the round-the-clock hard labour goes in vain just because of corruption.
“When it comes to corruption, I’ll say, not only the bribe receivers, but also its givers are equally criminals,” she said.
The prime minister said the country is moving fast towards progress as there has been increased pace in government activities with better skill and attention in jobs due to the APA.
She also said the government has taken steps to diminish the red-tape culture and put emphasis on bringing more dynamism into public offices.
About Bangladesh’s achieving the status of a developing country, Hasina said the country has already achieved the three criteria needed to attain it. “But we want to go far above, we’ve to work with that vision…we’ve to take programmes considering that…”
She mentioned that the government will be able to implement the SDGs as it implemented the MDGs, and it is implementing the Seventh Five Year Plan keeping that in mind.
The prime minister put emphasis on formulating a master plan to save farm land, environment and nature alongside continuing the development activities.
“Development has to be in a planned way…there should be a master plan for the development and all activities must be be in line with that master plan,” she said.
State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain, Principal Secretary M Nojibur Rahman, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam and Power Division Secretary Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus also spoke at the programme.
The senior secretaries and secretaries in charge of various ministries and divisions handed over a copy of their respective Annual Performance Agreement to the prime minister.
The cabinet secretary on behalf of the prime minister signed the APA.
Under the agreement, the ministries ascertain vision, mission and strategic goals in line with the development priorities of the government, undertake short- and long-term plans as per budgetary allocations.
The new Annual Performance Agreement is prepared considering the Vision 2021 projects committed by the prime minister, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Seventh Fifth Year Plan and projects under Public Private Partnership initiative.
The government introduced the method of APA in the 2014-2015 fiscal year for the public sector to ensure institutional transparency, accountability, proper utilisation of resources and, above all, enhancing the institutional efficiency.
The main purposes of introducing the Annual Performance Agreement are – moving the focus of the ministry from process-orientation to result-orientation, and providing an objective and fair basis to evaluate overall performance of the ministries and divisions at the end of the year.
The APA is an internal mechanism of the civil administration from top to grassroots level to ensure accountability of the government officials aimed at evaluating their yearly performance and making them accountable to their responsibilities.
The government has signed the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) with the ministries and their subordinate bodies which also included divisional, district and upazila level offices of the government.unb