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5 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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‘71pc applicants victims of bribery’

Staff Reporter, Barisal
‘71pc applicants victims of bribery’

The Conscious Citizen Committee (CCC) of Barisal, the local organ of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), has revealed in a report that 71.1 per cent of passport applicants have become victims of bribery, irregularities and harassment. The report titled "Divisional Passport and Immigration office: Challenge of good governance and ways of overcoming that" was submitted to TIB on Thursday. It has given a 13-point charter of suggestions including abolishing the police verification system, eradicating brokers and punishing those involved in corruption, irregularities and harassment.  

Ali Hossain, the assistant programme manager of the research and policy cell of TIB, presented the report at a press conference at the Bangladesh Development Society auditorium yesterday.

A survey for the report was carried out with 350 passport applicants and field-level studies from November 2015 to October 2016.

During this period, 30,014 passport applications were received by the Barisal divisional passport office. Of them, 75.7 per cent were rural people and 61.7 per cent urban people.  Moreover, about 124 passports were delivered every day. The report has said each applicant, on average, had to pay an additional Tk. 1,854 to get the passport.

During the study, 89.4 per cent of the applicants claimed that they had to pay extra Tk. 896 each to get a report from the Special Branch of police to avoid unnecessary harassment like giving wrong information and involving them in political or militant activities.

According to the report, passports of 32.3 per cent of the applicants were not delivered on due date, while 56.3 per cent took help from the brokers linked with the passport office and the police in filling forms, getting quick police reports and avoiding harassment in receiving passports.

CCC president Prof. Zahid Hossain, Barisal CCC members Manabendra Batobayal, Prof. Moazzem Hossain, Prof. Shah Sajeda, Nurjahan Begum, Saifur Rahman Miron and Shuvangkar Chakraborty,  and Shahnur Rahman, a TIB official, among others, were present on the occasion.

Kamal Hossain Khandokar, deputy director of the Barisal divisional passport and immigration office, said: “I’ve joined the office on April 23 this year. So, I can’t comment on the alleged corruption and irregularities found during the period I was not there.”

He also said he has not received any allegation, but he would take appropriate action if he receives any complaint.

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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