Pay staff with own funds or face the sack: minister to local government councils

LGRD Minister Tazul Islam has threatened to dissolve the local government councils if they fail to pay their employees with their own funds for 12 months.

Speaking at a national dialogue in Dhaka on Sunday on improving the marginal people’s standard of living, he said the city corporations and municipalities are run by separate law that stipulates they must run on their own funds.

But the local government bodies say they are unable to collect enough taxes and so, they cannot run on their own, he said. “It’s unbelievable,” he remarked.

“I think there should be a law that says the councils that are unable to pay salaries for more than 12 months will be terminated."

He assured the councils of government help to develop their sources of earnings.

Tazul also emphasised accountability in his speech.

Robert Dickson, the British High Commissioner in Dhaka, said Bangladesh has made tremendous progress in development but urban poverty has remained a challenge and it should be in focus.

Helal Uddin Ahmed, secretary of the Local Government Division, UNDP Bangladesh's Resident Representative Sudipta Mukherjee, Narayanganj City Mayor Salina Hayat Ivy, Sylhet City Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury and Gazipur City Mayor Jahangir Alam took part in the dialogue presided over by Hossain Zillur Rahman, executive chairman of Power and Participation Research Centre.