National, Front Page

Cabinet members’ feats under scan

Published : 14 Jan 2021 09:51 PM

The high command of the ruling Awami League has started evaluating the last two years’ performance of the cabinet members after forming the government for a record third straight term, reliable sources said.

As two years of the third term government elapsed on January 7 amid the coronavirus pandemic, various natural disasters and conspiracies faced by the government, the performance and records of account of ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers are being evaluated by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, sources in administration and party insiders said.

Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League President has already obtained  necessary information about the activities of her cabinet members.

 The information about the cabinet members, who have been serving as cabinet members for 12 years, 10 years, seven years and two years, is    being sorted out, a highly placed source said. What they did during their term and their performance and records of account are also being checked, cross checked and rechecked, the source added.

Besides, Sheikh Hasina is also examining her cabinet members’ contribution to their respective ministries and constituencies as well.

Apart from these, the role played by ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers in the implementation of the Annual Development programmes (ADPs) from the very beginning of the current tenure of the government is also being evaluated.

Sheikh Hasina is serving as the prime minister for the third consecutive term after her party won the 11th parliamentary election by a landslide on Dec 30, 2018. No leader in the country’s political history has been at the helm for such a long time.

She formed a new government with 46 members of her new cabinet on January 7, 2019, pledging to continue the efforts to develop the nation and curb corruption.

Most of the stalwarts were excluded then from her cabinet and the country got a cabinet with all members from the Awami League after 1973.

Sheikh Hasina is checking up whether her cabinet members were involved in any corruption or wrongdoing and transparent in  their respective duties.

She is also checking up if necessary steps were taken by the cabinet members for rural development, job creation, reducing the gap between the rich and the poor and ensuring equal distribution of resources in the last two years.

According to a highly placed source in the government administration, after forming the government, the high command usually takes two years for evaluating the cabinet members’ performance.

“As part of routine work, the prime minister is evaluating her cabinet members. Although there are heavyweight members in the cabinet, the prime minister has to oversee everything. As the incumbent cabinet began with new faces, prime minister is taking extra load,” a cabinet member preferring not to be named said.

The government completed two years in power and the prime minister is now  thinking for cabinet reshuffle, political postings and organisational appointments based on performance.

“However, the possibility of excluding members from the incumbent cabinet is very thin. On the other hand, a few full ministers may be included in cabinet” he said.

However, talking to some government high- ups said such decision completely depends on the prime minister.

“If she (Sheikh Hasina) takes any decision regarding cabinet reshuffle or other issue, she instructs the cabinet secretary. Only then, we come to know. And there is no such instruction till now,” he said.      

According to the sources, some ministries especially health ministry failed to remove irregularities and corruption centring the Covid-19 as alleged against the Regent Hospital and JKG healthcare over testing.

Besides, commerce ministry has also failed to control the price hike of essential commodities.

Besides, the ministry of liberation war affairs has also been criticized centring the issuance of freedom fighters’ list. 

On the other hand, some ministries like land, disaster management and relief and fisheries and livestock did well during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.