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>deadline for wealth report submission ends

>GOVERNMENT employees were busy preparing their wealth statements today, the last day for the submission of the statements.
M Abdus Salam Khan, establishment secretary, while responding to a query said the public servants who fail to comply with the directive would face punitive actions that would be specified by the government later on.
“Those who would not comply would definitely violate the service rules,” he said hoping for a “good” response.
When pointed out that his ministry lacked a secured system to preserve the confidential information of the government employees, he said, “We’ll develop a system.”
According to Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1979, the public servants are to submit wealth statements to the government at the commencement of their service and every five years during their employment.
However, the rule has long been ignored with an excuse that many officials have already been filing tax returns with the National Board of Revenue (NBR), said sources.
During a visit to different ministries, departments, directorates and other government offices in Dhaka today, this correspondent found a large number of employees busy filling out their wealth declaration forms.
A number of government officials, however, still appeared to be reluctant in submitting the wealth statements, fearing that their confidential information might not be stored at the ministry with adequate security measures.
A mid-level official said, “Besides, we’ve submitted our tax returns to the NBR a few months ago.”
When asked why the government does not access the government officials’ wealth information at the NBR, the establishment secretary said, “We can see it anytime we want, but it [the submission of wealth statement] would create a mental pressure on the employees as their wealth can be checked anytime [from now on].
“In line with anti-corruption drives in different sectors, the government asked the establishment ministry to seek wealth statements from the public servants.
An establishment ministry order signed by Joint Secretary (Admin) Main Uddin Khondoker issued an order on August 28 and another letter signed by the establishment secretary on December 10 asked the public servants to declare any purchase or sale of valuable property, construction of building and their wealth through the proper channel by December 31.
The date was later extended till February 28 due to Cyclone Sidr.

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Spectator

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