President of the Workers Party, Rashed Khan Menon, came down hard on a parliamentary standing committee for its recommendation to find alternatives to the presence of female upazila nirbahi officers at guard of honour ceremonies given to deceased freedom fighters at their funerals.
"Such humiliation [of females] cannot be acceptable," he lamented, participating in the parliamentary discussion on the proposed budget for fiscal 2021-22.
Menon said such a recommendation is tantamount to humiliating women who sacrificed their lives and were subjected to rape during the country's Liberation War in 1971.
On Sunday, the parliamentary standing committee on Liberation War Affairs Ministry recommended taking necessary measures to find alternatives to the presence of female upazila nirbahi officers at guards of honour given to valiant freedom fighters who have died after and since the Liberation War of 1971.
The parliamentary standing committee made the recommendation at a Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban meeting, with ruling Awami League lawmaker Shajahan Khan in the chair.
He strictly criticised the health sector and its officials for their involvement in various irregularities.
"We have seen the mismanagement of the health sector in tackling the Covid pandemic. We saw the forgery in procurement of masks, PPE, and corona tests. One Shahid and a Sabrina have been arrested, but those who signed the contract and provided work orders remain out of reach. It would seem the health sector is run by bureaucratic instructions instead of experts," stated Menon.
He said, the "Prime minister's courageous step to save lives and livelihoods amid the pandemic has been appreciated worldwide. But the efforts went largely in vain due to the country's vast military-civilian bureaucracy and corruption, as well as for their mismanagement and inefficiency."
The leftist leader also expressed concern about the uncertain availability of the corona vaccine, criticising the finance minister for the absence of a vaccination roadmap in the budget.
"Bangladesh successfully started a mass vaccination programme. But we are experiencing what happens when a private company is given the responsibility of procuring vaccines. Now, uncertainty lurks over the prospect of getting a vaccine in time, said the Workers Party leader, adding that the government has to procure this vaccine itself without resorting to middlemen.
"There is no guarantee the vaccine will arrive in the coming months. Coronavirus infections cannot be prevented if vaccination is not done for 12 crore adults in the country.
The parliament member criticised the lowest budget allotment for the health sector.
Menon in his speech said that although the finance minister talked about economic progress in his budget, it is also true that structural weakness and corruption in the health sector has been exposed over the last one year.