The deputy commissioners have also been directed to be especially attentive to the government's development projects across the country
The annual deputy commissioners' (DC) conference ended on Thursday in Dhaka, with the DCs receiving special guidelines to ensure a free and fair national election, as well as to prioritize government development projects around the country ahead of the polls.
The DCs also received directives to maintain law and order during the polls, due towards the end of this year.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had inaugurated the three-day conference at her office on Tuesday, where she briefed all 64 DCs – heads of district administrations – on paying special attention the government's development projects.
“We have undertaken many development initiatives in the country, which are costing us a lot of money. You [the DCs] need to oversee if these programs are being properly implemented. The people of this country will benefit from your diligent work,” she told the DCs.
During the last session of the conference on Thursday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan met with the DCs, where he directed them to put their best effort to arrange a free and fair election.
The 11th parliamentary election is likely to be held in December if the Election Commission announces the election schedule in October.
Addressing the concluding session of the conference, the home minister said: “The law enforcement agencies are quite prepared to tackle violence during the polls. They are more capable now as they have been provided with the necessary equipment and the required manpower.”
The Cabinet Division arranges the DC conference every year to bring together the deputy commissioners of all 64 districts, where they meet with ministers, advisers, state ministers, deputy ministers and senior secretaries of the government, to discuss an array of issues they face while running day-to-day operations of the district administration.
At this year's conference, the DCs placed 347 proposals before the Cabinet Division regarding land management complexities, border issues, law and order, poverty reduction, local government issues, education, healthcare services, disaster management and many other issues.
During their session with the prime minister, the deputy commissioners asked to widen the jurisdiction of the mobile courts, as the DCs also act as district magistrates to conduct mobile courts, which currently work with 200 legal instruments.
In the meeting with the Ministry of Public Administration, the district administration chiefs demanded that performances of government officials not be evaluated by other agencies.
However, the ministry rejected the demand and said the government has it within its authority to verify all issues regarding government agencies, including its officials' performance evaluation and promotion, Public Administration Secretary Faiz Ahmed told reporters.
The deputy commissioners also asked to increase allowances for visits to remote areas. In response, the secretary said that the government has already taken an initiative regarding the visit allowance.
The DCs were also asked by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to report any cases of corruption.
Speaking to the DCs on Thursday, ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmood sought support from all the DCs to help the anti-graft body to create a social movement against corruption.
The DCs, in return, asked the ACC to look into the anonymous applications on corruption more carefully, the ACC chief told reporters after the meeting.