The deputy commissioners on Saturday sought ration cards and an increase in the pay structure for government employees to help them to cope with the soaring essential goods prices.
The local administrators placed the proposals at their annual conference, inaugurated by the chief adviser, Fakhruddin Ahmed, in the Chief Adviser’s Office in Dhaka on the day.
In the working sessions, they observed although law and order was better at the moment, it might deteriorate any time if the commodity prices could not be kept at a tolerable level, said sources attending the meeting.
‘We have stressed the need for arresting the soaring essential goods prices to maintain law and order, which is now at a satisfactory level,’ a deputy commissioner told E-Bangladesh.
They also suggested that government officials and employees should be provided with health cards so that they could get medical facilities free.
‘We have proposed that the government should introduce rations for government employees and officials to help them to cope with exorbitant prices of essential commodities,’ the Sherpur deputy commissioner, Samsunnahar Begum, told E-Bangladesh at the secretariat, adding that the government would consider the matter.
Talking with the reporters in his office, the cabinet secretary, Ali Imam Majumder, said, ‘The deputy commissioners have placed proposals concerning both national and local problems. They have recommended revising schedules of the development projects because of increase in construction material prices.’
In the first working session, chaired by the finance adviser, AB Mirza Azizul Islam in the Chief Adviser’s Office, the district administrators spoke about the difficulties the government officials and employees were facing with goods prices spiralling out of control, said official sources.
All other sessions were held at the Cabinet Division in the secretariat as was scheduled.
The deputy commissioners informed the government it had become almost impossible for government officials and employees to continue with the education of their children and ensure health facilities for their families with the limited incomes in the present situation.
‘Spiralling prices of essential commodities, law and order and poor implementation of the annual development programme were the issues widely discussed in the first day’s working sessions, also addressed by the home affairs adviser, MA Matin, the cultural affairs adviser, Rasheda K Chowdhury, and the establishment secretary, Md Abdus Salam.
Matin said the meeting discussed overall law and order of the country. ‘We have also discussed the police reform proposals with the deputy commissioners.’
The deputy commissioners requested the finance ministry for quick release of the fund allocated for development projects to ensure their proper and timely implementation.They informed the meeting of the impediments they faced in discharging their responsibilities, including mobile court operation and the preparation of reports on various cases after the separation of the judiciary that had come into force in November 2007.
The cabinet secretary in his address of welcome stressed the need for legal protection for deputy commissioners so that they could function better in protecting people’s interest.
The four-day annual conference was curtailed to three days.