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The Financial Express

HC issues injunction upon distributing performance bonus to Dhaka WASA employees 

| Updated: August 17, 2022 08:33:53


HC issues injunction upon distributing performance bonus to Dhaka WASA employees 

The High Court on Tuesday issued an injunction against chairman, managing director and the board of the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) restraining them from distributing performance bonuses to employees till the disposal of a rule issued by it.

The High Court bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo passed the order after hearing on a writ petition filed challenging the legality of some of the Dhaka WASA decisions.

In the rule the High Court asked the concerned bodies of the government to explain in four weeks as to why awarding the performance bonus to the employees of the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority should not be declared illegal.

It also wanted to know in the rule as to why the fixation of the water tariff by the Board of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority without framing any rule and in violation of provisions of the WASA Act, 1996 should not be declared illegal and as to why the respondents should not be directed to refrain from re-fixing the water tariff until a rule is made there under by the government.

Local Government Secretary, Dhaka WASA board, Dhaka WASA Chairman and other respondents have been asked to comply with the rule.

Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB) represented by its Chairman Architect Mubasshar Hussain filed the writ petition recently.

Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua appeared in the court hearing on behalf of the writ petitioner, while Deputy Attorney General Arabindo Kumar Roy represented the state.

The Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) authority took its last decision on July 7 increasing 5.0 per cent of water tariff which will be implemented from September 1 in 2022.

According to the Section 21 of the Dhaka WASA Act, 1996, the authorities of the Dhaka WASA are supposed to be fix the water tariff by following the rules framed there under by the government. But until now, the authorities have not framed any rules to deal with the matter of the Dhaka WASA Act, 1996.

In the 291st meeting of Dhaka WASA Board on April 27 this year, it was decided to give Performance Award (Performance Bonus) to its employees, which will be equal to three basic salaries of each.

Barrister Jyotirmoy said, “The authorities of the Dhaka WASA cannot award performance bonuses to its officers and employees treating the organization as a business venture. The Managing Director and CEO of the Dhaka WASA for personal gain introduced this corporate practice of awarding performance bonus, which is against the provisions of the Dhaka WASA Act, 1996.

Where the performance of the authority remained unsatisfactory and their pay should have been reduced, the MD of the Dhaka WASA by showing profit despite receiving subsidies from the government continued to skim honey from everywhere. Moreover, there is no competitor in the service and hence the question of awarding performance bonus to the employees does not arise at all.”

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