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Govt suspends addl secy over report on power sector corruption

Additional Secretary SM Hamidul Huque, former chief of the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) and later an officer on special duty (OSD), has been suspended on allegations of misconduct against the Public Administration ministry.Hamidul, who was involved with a recent IMED report on the power sector that had termed capacity charges as a “model of robbery,” was suspended under the Government Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 2018, reads a notification issued by the ministry on Thursday.

The notification, signed by the ministry’s Senior Secretary Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, further added that Hamidul would be entitled to subsistence allowance as per regulations.This suspension came after Deputy Secretary Mahidur Rahman, former IMED director, who was also involved with the power sector-related report, was suspended on Tuesday.Both Hamidul and Mahidur were recently made officers on special duty (OSDs) in separate orders issued by the public administration ministry. The IMED is a government division working under the planning ministry.A recent study published by the IMED on the power sector triggered widespread discussion and criticism. That research report was prepared on the implementation progress of 67 projects in the power sector.The report had claimed that capacity charges in the power sector are a drain on Bangladesh’s USD reserves, and should be stopped. It also claimed that in the last 14 years, $90,000 crore has been spent as capacity charges.It had highlighted the need for a clear plan to get the power sector out of the cycle of subsidies.

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