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Corruption Database, 2003

Corruption Database: Loss of Taka 576.58 crore due to 216 incidents of corruption

It has been found from the newspaper-based report 'Corruption Database' of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) that a total of 874 corruption-related reports were published in the 21 newspapers between January and June 2003. 216 of these reports had mentioned about financial losses of the government. Of these, the amount of losses could be gathered in 216 of these incidents. The financial loss to the government due to these incidents stood at taka 5 hundred 76 crore 58 lakh 82 thousand 809.

Professor Khan Sarwar Murshid, Chairman TIB and Professor Muzaffer Ahmad, Member of the TIB Board of Trustees presented the report at a press conference held at the National Press Club on 29 September. Abdul Alim, Research Associate and other TIB officials were also present at the occasion.

The police department as in the past topped again the list in terms of the number of corruption cases, but the taxation department outclassed all in terms of amount of money. 37.3% took place in the field of direct and indirect taxes. Other than the police (22.4%) and taxation departments, education (12.9%), local government (10.1%) and health and family welfare (6.6%) were also found to be the most corrupt departments. Corruption took place in the forms of abuse of power, plundering and bribery.

In the recommendation section, the Corruption Database Report says that the political commitment is a must for stamping out corruption. It suggested appointment of Ombudsmen, separation of the judiciary from the executive and establishment of effective anti-corruption commission. It also recommended for ensuring exemplary punishment to the corrupt officials, finding out the reasons of corruption and creation of a social movement against the evil practice. BBC Bengali Service made coverage on the findings of the Corruption Database report. Most of the national dailies extensively covered the findings of the report on the following day.

People's Theatre: 'Asiraner Bangladesh'

The picture of corruption in the major sectors of the country is now being projected through drama. This drama 'Asiraner Bangladesh' is the second production of the Muktagacha CCC of TIB's People's Theatre group. It has attempted to portray the nature of corruption that prevails in politics, administration, police, education, health, lower judiciary and other domains of the country.

The play was inaugurated on 18 September. Held at the Poura Pathagar Muktamanch of Muktagacha, Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Muktagacha Faruque Alam graced the occasion as chief guest. A thousand spectators belonging to various classes and professions, cultural personalities of the town, journalists, doctors, lawyers, teachers and students were present during this premier show. Jewel Kabir Akash produced the script of the play as well as directed it. TIB's peoples' theatre Coordinator Kamal Hossain Mintu assisted in the overall management.

The anti-corruption people's theatre 'Asiraner Bangladesh' was also staged at the Rani Bhabani high school compound of Modhupur. Around 900 audiences enjoyed the show. Those who performed in the drama included Akhi, Bithi, Suman, Rana, Milon, Rasel, Rana, Rabbani, Sajib and Liton.

Workshop on report card

A workshop on report card for land administration, municipality and union parishad was held at the Training and Research Center (TARC) of BRAC at Madhupur on 21-22 September. Field organizers and programme officials of TIB were present at the workshop. Research Officer Sydur Rahman Molla and Programme Officer Ekram Hossain of TIB facilitated the workshop. The prime objective of the workshop was to identify the priorities on report card survey.

A similar workshop was held at TIB's Advice and Information Center of Mymensingh on 26 September. Around 18 members of various CCC were present at the workshop. Research Officer Sydur Rahman and Programme Officer Ekram Hossain of TIB were present as the facilitators.