Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission or BAEC has protested against parts of a bdnews24.com report on payment of coronavirus incentives to officials in light of a government circular on special payment for those involved in preventing the pandemic or treatment of COVID-19 patients.
In a rejoinder on Thursday, BAEC Secretary Tapan Kumar Saha said the commission “has not given money to any of its officials as incentives related to the coronavirus”.
The commission said the news(https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2020/08/06/two-government-agencies-give-officials-special-pay-but-they-are-not-covid-19-service-providers) that cited the commission’s member Md Azizul Haque was “untrue”, and Azizul’s statement was “personal” and “imaginary”.
Azizul is not an official spokesperson for the BAEC and it “strongly protests” against the “baseless” report, the rejoinder said.
It also spoke about a second report (https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2020/08/06/baera-to-take-back-covid-19-incentives-from-officials), which states that the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority or BAERA will take back the COVID-19 incentives from officials.
“The question of demanding the money back does not arise as no official was given any COVID-19 incentives,” the commission said.
It said the “confusions” would have been averted had bdnews24.com spoken to BAEC Chairman Sanowar Hossain.
WHAT THE REPORTER SAYS
bdnews24.com on Thursday reported that two government organisations have provided their officials with a special honorarium despite their having no direct connection with services related to COVID-19.
bdnews24.com published the news following the standard practice of journalism upon gathering the information.
The employees of BAERA and BAEC had recently filed a written complaint at the Anti-Corruption Commission alleging that the officials of the two agencies had been given incentives “illegally”.
A number of BAEC officials admitted that the allegation was true when bdnews24.com contacted them following the complaints lodged at the ACC.
BAEC Chairman Sanowar did not answer several phone calls from the reporter on Wednesday before the publication of the first report.
bdnews24.com ran the report after the commission’s member Azizul confirmed the issue.
In the follow-up report, bdnews24.com did not say that the BAEC would seek back incentive money from officials.
Citing BAERA Chairman Muzammel Haque, the report said that the regulatory authority would take the money back from its officials.
The issue of BAEC officials’ incentive came in the second report as it was contextually relevant.