Inaction continues to embolden corrupt practices
The recent discovery of 350 drivers embezzling around Tk3 crore from the government coffers highlights not only dishonesty and corruption, but negligence and incompetence on the part of the authorities when it comes to ensuring that such behaviour is investigated and those responsible are brought to book.
This took place over the course of three months in March of 2020, when the country was under strict lockdown, with government-employed drivers faking hundreds of certificates showcasing 12 hours of work, including four hours of overtime, at a time when all public institutions were closed due to the pandemic.
Tk3cr is no joke – this is Tk3cr of hard-earned tax-payer money – and neither is the fact that 350 drivers carried this out simultaneously – a fact that serves to portray the deep-rooted and widespread nature of the corruption that has taken hold of our public institutions.
One may very well ask: Was there no verification process? And perhaps what is more concerning, how much of such corruption and theft of public funds goes on every day, with the public none the wiser? The verification process relies on the honesty of those put in charge of verifying such claims, and the fact that the theft was so blatant -- during a period of near-complete inactivity -- is more than just an example of corruption at a massive scale -- it is a testament to its widespread acceptance in society, especially our public institutions. No one involved in the entire scheme has been held responsible as of yet and, unfortunately, further investigation by the Dhaka Tribune has only revealed a lack of communication between law enforcement and other public institutions leading to inaction.
Such inaction continues to embolden corrupt practices on a daily basis, taking the heard-earned money of law-abiding citizens and putting them in the pockets of criminals, and leaving less for development. If we wish to achieve sustainable progress, we cannot accept corruption as a norm in the country any longer. This must change. The first step is holding perpetrators accountable.