Finance Minister AMA Muhith has stressed the need for spending the recovered siphoned off money for strengthening anti-corruption activities, aiming to check the all-pervasive graft in the country.
All the recovered money should be used for strengthening anti-corruption campaign, he said mentioning that the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has already recovered some siphoned off money, and spending it on checking anti-graft activities.
If all the recovered money could be used in checking graft, it will help the ACC grow its teeth, Muhith told the inaugural session of a two-day training program yesterday afternoon.
The ACC, the national graft watchdog, organised the training programme on asset recovery in the city’s Ruposhi Bangla Hotel, aiming to strengthen the capacity of government officials to recover siphoned off public money from abroad.
Chaired by ACC chairman M Badiuzzaman, the inaugural session of the program was addressed, among others, by cabinet secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, attorney general Mahbubey Alam, Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Atiur Rahman and ACC secretary M Faizur Rahman Chowdhury.
Speaking as the chief guest, Muhith said as per the election manifesto of the ruling party, the current regime is committed to reducing corruption in the country.
“I don’t say corruption has been removed from the country, but we have been able to reduce it substantially…the environment has changed and it has to be improved,” he said.
The Finance Minister said the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Bangladesh Bank has already been strengthened to recover the country’ s siphoned off assets.
“We have to follow the international practices and seek advice from international agencies,” he said emphasizing the use of technology to check corruption in the country.
Referring to some recently-formulated laws, including the Money Laundering Prevention Act 2012 which helped check corruption, Muhith said he firmly believes that if the laws could be enforced effectively, the money-laundering practice will come down.
Musharraf Hossain said the ACC alone cannot recover the siphoned off money. “So, partnership is very important to do this job. The ACC needs support from the Bangladesh Bank and the National Board of Revenue.”
He put emphasis on legal framework and institutions in recovering the stolen assets as the enforcement capacity of laws is limited.
About 40 government officials, including 20 of ACC and 10 officials from Bangladesh Bank, are receiving training on asset recovery so that they can play an effective role in recovering the siphoned off money from abroad.
Representatives from different international agencies are conducting the training program as resource persons.