Akbar Ali slams NGOs



E-Bangladesh is a News/Headlines service and a group blog aimed at bringing the news and analysis from Bangladesh to its readers.

[Dhaka Correspondent] Akbar Ali Khan, chief of the Regulatory Reforms Commission, said Tuesday nongovernmental organizations must go through massive reforms to benefit the poor. Akbar, a former bureaucrat and adviser to the caretaker government, was critical of the NGOs for moving away from its original mission of empowering poor people into money-making.

“Micro-credit is not the only remedy for poverty alleviation. An overall economic development is a must for eliminating poverty from the country,” Akbar said as he opened a project, SMILING, in the Dhaka. Prip Trust will implement the Small Initiative by Local Innovative NGOs (SMILING) Project, funded by the European Commission.

Akbar said NGOs had started their activities to change the fate of poor people but now they were “leaning all the more toward business activity.” “All big NGOs had said poor people would come to the leadership. But scope had not yet been created. All rich people occupied those posts.”

Akbar Ali said the new commission under his leadership would start working next week. Recommendations have already been sought from various business chambers and associations about what they want from the commission, Akbar said. On October 30, the interim government formed the 17-member commission headed by Akbar Ali. The commission is responsible to review all government regulations and advise the administration for changes to the official machineries.


E-Bangladesh is a News/Headlines service and a group blog aimed at bringing the news and analysis from Bangladesh to its readers.

5 Responses to “Akbar Ali slams NGOs”

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    Khalil Ahmed

    From USAID to BRAC to Grameen Bank, all of these donor agency/donor funded agencies are involved in massive corruption.

    Huge amount of donor tax-payer money is spent on travel and projects set up overseas while Bangladesh is submerged in neck-deep grueling poverty. I don’t understand what these NGOs are doing in high risk areas like Afghanistan and Indonesia when the chasm between the reach and poor is widening at an alarming rate in Bangladesh.

    There is rampant corruption in these dynasty-based NGOs where children of former ministers, judges and civil servants are recruited to influence the fund procurement process from the Bangladesh government and donor countries.

    The government should limit the operations of the NGOs in Bangladesh so that these one-man show NGOs are barred from spending money abroad on show, shady projects abroad. This allows them to pilfer enormous amounts of foreign currency.

    These NGOs have become the long arm of the CIA to penetrate war ravaged Islamic countries in Asia.

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    Imtiyaz Husain

    Our former bureaucrats are responsible for the Agean Stable in Bangladesh. Likes of Akbar Ali Khan never did anything to help the people when they were in power. What did they do was only have a great time and enjoyed sinecure foreign postings. We wait to see what he can come up as Chairman of the committee to rationalize regulation. Surely one shall not see him, a civil servant upset the apple cart!

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    Akbar Ali Khan resigned from the CTG. Don’t be so hasty. He also made his remarks as part of an initiative to nurture non-Dhaka based NGOs. He is not an enemy to the people, he is one of the better bureaucrats. His words were said in a particular place and for a reason. It would be better if NGOs were not funded by donors and that deshi people donated to them. But that level of financial participation and intellectual participation (they tend to chase after funding buzzwords) is far away. The “follow the money” angst is one of the reasons why the idea of sushil samaj is often denigrated and regarded with great suspicion by the people (BBC World Trust Survey, 2005). This angst can’t just be wished away. Its not a “slamming of NGOs,” more a recognition of their shortcomings. Muzaffar Ahmed made similar observations, and he is from that sector himself.

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    Reaz Salim

    There is no such thing as a good bureaucrat, because all of them are selfish and bad. If we could fund the NGOs then there would be no NGOs. There would only be charitable trusts and we have lots of them.

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    Agree with the later, not sure about the former. For example there’s the story about the UNO in Shariakandi who set up a school on his own steam in the 80s and even taught there when he got the time, locals still running the school recognize him to this day. I’ve got lots of these stories, maybe you can poke holes in all of them but the BCS are the smartest crew in the country. Smart enough to run rings around everybody else, which would be why you have a problem. He signed my copy of his book at the boi mela, he’s cool.

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