RAJUK’s MoU with the Sahara Group: TIB Demands Transparency
Dhaka, May 24, 2012: Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) demands from Rajuk (CapitalDevelopment Authority) and the Government full disclosure of the contents of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Rajuk and the Sahara Group of India for investment in a proposed low‐cost housing project around the capital Dhaka, and of the relevant decision making process.
Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of TIB said, “we welcome Rajuk’s praiseworthy initiative to build housing facilities for the benfit of the low‐income households around Dhaka city. However, land being the rarest and the most precious resource of the country, any decision regarding its use and exploitation must be transparent and consistent with the relevant laws and regulations”.
He further said, we draw the attention of the relevant authority of the Government and other stakeholders to consider the following with utmost importance:
‐ In what process a particular company has been selected and offered the opportunity;
‐ Whether the decision is consistent with the relevant procurement law and rules;
‐ Whether capable, credible and interested companies/investors of national origin have been, or will be offered, the similar oppurtinity on equal footing;
‐ If the Government needs to invite foreign investment in this sector, whether other interested foreign companies have also been, or will be given the same opportunity transparently;
‐ If the deal goes ahead, with whom will the land‐ownership lie, and under what terms; and
‐ Whether the whole decision‐making process will be subject to open and fully competitive process without bias or favour to anyone.
“It is not justifiable to take a major decision in a sector such as land without proper long‐term cost‐benefit analysis and risk assessment”, the statement said.
It further said that the people of Bangladesh, in whose hands rest all powers of the State as per the Constitution of the Republic,, have the right to know all the details of the MoU and all other relevant information including the rationale behind the decision to open the sector to foreign investment.
“While we are not against foreign investment, nor against selecting any particular investor, in the interest of accountable and transparent governance all relevant informaton must be disclosed for public knowledge, which is also mandated by the Right to Information Act”, Dr Zaman said.