Planning Minister MA Mannan Monday said due diligence should be exercised in all types of government procurement, even if it is for stationery.
He made the remarks on Monday while speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of Zonal Operation Training Programme for Population and Housing Census.
Paper and pens were purchased in advance for the agricultural census, and they were ruined, resulting in a compensation pay-out of Tk13 crore.
The planning minister said procurement activities need to be done in a timely manner. We must be careful about spending public funds; money cannot be wasted under any circumstance.
"The government is in favour of spending, but we must spend the money on something, which will yield a return. Because the ones whose money we're spending, they may not enjoy the same benefits we do. They may work, sitting on the ground, but they are the citizens of the country," the minister added.
Speaking as the special guest at the event, Secretary to Department of Statistics and Information Management Department Yamin Chowdhury said, "After a compensation pay-out of Tk13 crore for using paper and pens in the agricultural census, we are now using a digital method in the census project. A lot of paper was wasted in the agricultural census."
"The main census will be held from 25th – 31st October. People nationwide will be counted during this one week, which is why the zonal operation training programme has been organised," he added.
He informed that 144 zonal officers from all over the country are participating in this training. The Population and Housing Census 2021 will be completed in four phases: conducting zonal operations, collecting census data, conducting Post Enumeration Check (PEC) survey, and socio-economic and demographic survey. The field-level data collection activities of the first phase (zonal operations) will be conducted from 23 January to 1 February 2021.
Yamin Chowdhury said, "The main census was scheduled for this month, but it will be held in October due to the ongoing pandemic. Digital equipment will help in accurate data collection, which, in turn, will prevent misrepresentation of facts."