DHAKA: Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said that the quota system was neither sacrosanct nor a permanent system and it can be reviewed and recast, according to the needs of the time.
The prime minister had already asked Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader to do it and he was in dialogue with the agitators about it.
Citing data from a number of recent recruitments in the public services, he said that 70 percent of current public services recruitment is based on merit and not on any quota.
The minister was speaking at a crowded press conference, here today.
“Yes, there is a quota system,” the minister said, adding, “But there is also a clear direction that if adequate number of qualified persons are not found through the quota system the posts would be fulfilled by those recruited on the basis of merit,” he said.
“This directive has been given by the government of Sheikh Hasina, “he said.
He also said that the prime minister had already directed officials to examine the prevailing quota system and the matter had been publicly disclosed by Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader.
He said that quota for disadvantaged people and regions is enshrined in the constitution and it is a form of positive discrimination to promote them. There is nothing wrong with it, he added.
Inu criticized those who were taking advantage of the situation and trying to draw political dividends.
He condemned the attack on the residence of the Dhaka University vice-chancellor and said BNP and Khaleda Zia had openly supported all forms of subversive activities including the BDR mutiny, the Hefazat mayhem and the now the anti-quota anarchy.
He requested all those who involved in the movement to refrain from any violent acts or anything that can disrupts civic life or property.
He also condemned the status given in different social media that not only criticized the quota system for freedom fighters but also ridiculed the liberation war.
“This is rather unfortunate. And it clearly shows what the real intent of some of the agitators is, “he said.
He assured the street agitators to trust Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as she had entrusted her party’s general secretary to engage in a dialogue with the agitators.