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Commission, syndication in PWD embarrass Minister

Published : Monday, 23 September, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 805

The Ministry of Housing and Public Works and the Minister, SM Rezaul Karim, have fallen in an embarrassing position after the issue of commission payment and syndication business within the Public Works Department (PWD) became an open secret.
The practice of giving and taking commissions for all construction work jobs under the department and syndication of influential contractors backed by political elite and PWD officials have come to the fore after the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested a PWD contractor SM Golam Kirbia Shamim (GK Shamim) with a huge amount of money from his office at Niketan in the capital on Friday.
In this situation, the Ministry drafted a letter addressed to all its departments, including the PWD, to ensure transparency and accountability in all their official activities. The letter was aimed at warning them of severe punitive measures, if any anomaly was detected there in future.
When contacted, Minister Rezaul Karim told this correspondent at his office on Sunday that he has heard about the practice of giving and taking of commissions or bribes and syndication in PWD. His Ministry is embarrassed and has taken the issue seriously.
"The law enforcement agencies have already
taken action against Shamim and his musclemen. We would ask for transparency and accountability in the PWD by writing to them. No syndication will be allowed in the departments and offices under the Ministry. If they fail to live up to it, necessary action will be taken," he added.
Controversial Juba League leader GK Shamim is now on a ten-day remand in police custody in two cases. The cases were filed against Shamim bringing charges for possessing illegal firearms and another under the Narcotics Control Act.
He was arrested with his seven bodyguards Delwar Hossain, Murad Hossain, Jahidul Islam, Shahidul Islam, Kamal Hossain, Shamsad Hossain and Aminul Islam. The seven bodyguards were also put on remand for four days each in connection with the case filed under the Arms Act.
After his arrest Shamim admitted to police that he along with his seven bodyguards were controlling the contracts and procurement businesses in the PWD. He is still engaged with 19 major construction works of the authority.
He claimed himself to be the cooperatives affairs secretary of Awami Juba League, an associate body of the ruling Awami League.
Shamim has grabbed construction work jobs by showing muscle power and political influence. At the same time, a former Juba Dal, the youth wing of opposition BNP, leader, Shamim also continued managing the officials concerned of the PWD by offering them lavish bribes.
According to PWD sources, Shamim also met up demands of money and other necessities of the two previous ministers and high officials of the Works Ministry. As a result, he had the hold on the bosses of the Ministry and PWD and could manage to secure all PWD construction work jobs.

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