Abul’s status not settled yet, still shown as ICT ministerStaff Correspondent
The government has left pending the resignation of Syed Abul Hossain as information and communications technology minister even 20 days after tendered his resignation.
Abul Hossain, also the former communications minister, stepped down on July 23 as ICT minister amid pressure mounting from within and outside the government over corruption charges in the Padma bridge project.
His resignation came in the wake of the World Bank’s cancelling its $1.2 billion loan for the $2.9b Padma bridge project on allegations of corruption.
The cabinet division’s web site still shows Syed Abul Hossain as minister for information and communications technology.
The former communications minister has neither attended the weekly cabinet meeting nor attended his office at Agargaon since July 23 as news of his resignation came up on the media.
‘The government will need to issue a gazette notification on the acceptance of the resignation of any minister or the Comptroller and Auditor General’s office will keep sending remunerations and other allowances to the account of the minister concerned,’ former adviser to the caretaker government Akbar Ali Khan told New Age.
His resignation was to be accepted as he took oath as minister, the retired cabinet secretary said.
Abul Hossain, who was inducted in Sheikh Hasina’s cabinet on January 6, 2009, served as the communications minister for about three years.
In the wake of the World Bank’s allegations of corruption, the prime minister gave him the responsibility for the ICT ministry.
The cabinet secretary, Mohammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, earlier said that the cabinet division had not received any documents of the resignation of Abul Hossain.
The officials confirmed that the cabinet division was yet to receive the documents of the minister’s resignation till Saturday.
Abul Hossain tendered his resignation to the prime minister to facilitate ‘proper investigations’ of the allegations of corruption in the Padma Multimpurpose bridge project, levelled by the World Bank, according to officials.
‘I have sent a letter to the prime minister, expressing my decision to resign from the cabinet… I have decided to step down in the interest of proper investigations of the allegations of corruption in the Padma bridge project,’ Abul Hossain told the media after sending his resignation letter to the prime minister.
Abul Hossain announced his resignation just a day after the finance minister, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, said that the government was considering the World Bank’s fourth condition so that bank would reviews its decision.
The government, according to the World Bank condition, should send on leave government officials and those appointed politically for their alleged involvement in corruption in the mega project during investigations.
Accordingly, former bridges division secretary Md Mosharraf Hossain Buiyan, now executive chairman of the Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority, has, meanwhile, gone on leave for an indefinite period in the interest a ‘fair investigation’ of the alleged corruption in the Padma multipurpose bridge project.
Lauding the former communications minister, Sheikh Hasina said in London on July 26 that Abul Hossain was a patriot and had stepped down on his own to pave the way for the construction of the Padma bridge.
She also said that Abul Hossain had shown courage by resigning even though the World Bank could not provide any ‘concrete evidence of his involvement in corruption.’
But the web site of the Prime Minister’s Office still shows Abul Hossain as the ICT minister.
Officials said that Abul’s resignation had not been officially accepted as the negotiation with the World Bank was still on to secure the funds.
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