On Thursday, Quader told reporters that the luxury watches and suits that he wears are gifts from well-wishers and party supporters abroad
Terming a minister’s collection of expensive watches "questionable," the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has urged the government to explain to the people why said watches were not deposited to the national treasury, as per the rules, if they were gifts.
In a statement issued on Friday, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said: "Based on several news reports on the expensive watches worn by the road transport and bridges minister some reporters asked him about them at the Secretariat yesterday [Thursday].
"In response, the explanation that he gave the reporters is not only questionable, but also raises other, more important questions."
Iftekharuzzaman explained that, according to the Treasury Rules 1974, which was amended in 2012, the minister – Obaidul Quader, also the general secretary of the ruling Awami League – should have deposited the watches to the treasury.
"People deserve to know why he did not do so, or if he decided to keep the gifts, whether he deposited the equivalent amount of money to the treasury," he further added.
A Sweden-based online news portal named Netra News, which can reportedly no longer be accessed from Bangladesh, recently published a report saying Quader has been seen wearing seven watches that are priced between Tk9 lakh and Tk28 lakh.
On Thursday, Quader told reporters that the luxury watches and suits that he wears are gifts from well-wishers and party supporters abroad.