Parliament on Monday unanimously passed the much-talked about bill to reinstate
Upazila Parishad Act 1998 allowing the lawmakers administrative authority over
the most crucial tier of local government system.
of parliament from either side of the aisle greeted the bill's passage by
thumping desks. They thanked LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam
for returning their say in the running of upazila parishads.
to opposition of the lawmakers, two proposals for amendments meant to curb the
MPs' sway over upazila parishads could not be placed in the House.
to the bill, lawmakers will be advisers to the upazila parishads in their
parishads must seek suggestions of the MPs before finalizing development plans.
They will have to keep the lawmakers up-to-date with their functioning.
upazila parishads, which are getting back into operation after around two
decades, must send copies of their meeting minutes to the advisers.
new provisions included in the bill following recommendations of the
parliamentary standing committee on the LGRD ministry will largely limit the
independence of the parishads.
lawmaker AKM Mozammel Haque sought to place a proposal for excluding the
provision of taking lawmakers' suggestions in firming up development plans. But
fierce opposition from fellow MPs bucked him up.
treasury bencher, Abdul Matin Khasru, too faced opposition from the ruling
alliance lawmakers when he placed his proposal to make Upazila Executive
Officers (UNOs) secretaries of the upazila parishads.
in its report on the bill, the committee on the LGRD ministry recommended that
UNOs be made chief executive officers of the local government bodies to provide