Predictably, the reaction from the government regarding the just released Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) report on the performance of the current parliament, has been total rejection and absurdly terming it as 'part of an international conspiracy' as expressed by three whips of the treasury bench. The allegation that the study, which is based on months of research, was made public after the murders of two foreign nationals and the Ashura bomb attack is rather farfetched and illogical.
The report has found that a measly six percent of 388 working hours were spent on formulation and passing of laws and only 29 of the 350 lawmakers took part in the process of enactment of 30 laws in 14 months. The rest of the time, treasury and opposition benches were busy praising their parties and the government and criticising the BNP-combine. The study also pointed out a quorum crisis, though less than in previous parliaments, that ate up more than 48 hours amounting to a waste of TK 32.42 crore.
A huge amount of taxpayers' money goes into funding the parliamentary sessions. Wasting it by talking about irrelevant matters or remaining completely indifferent, is a huge letdown for the people and a discredit to the exalted position MPs hold.
The recommendation TIB has given includes: a bill on lawmakers conduct, encouraging MPs to take part in the lawmaking process and making sure the opposition plays its 'actual role'. Thus instead of lambasting the report we suggest that the government takes cognizance of the constructive criticism the study has offered and make all out efforts to ensure that the parliament is effective and representative of the needs and aspirations of the people.