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Power and authority distribution: Superior to inferior: Government to local government in Bangladesh

Abdur Rab
Department of Public Administration
2nd year

Abstract: Power is abstract. It is not a personal wealth of one man. But every man has in
addition to other power personal power. Government, minister, secretary etc have their personal power. Similarly, general people have also their personal power by which people obligate the government for his wrong decisions or to fulfill their demand whenever they asked for their demand. Government decentralize his power from central level to local level to run his/her administration smoothly. This paper discusses three branches of the government, executive, judicial and legislative branch. Each branch performs their own functions. Introduction: Bangladesh emerged as an independent country on December 16,1971 with an area of 147570 square K.M. The country is now governed by the unicameral democratic parliamentary form of government. The prime minister is the head of government. He/ she has the supreme power of the country. For running the administration smoothly, the government have divided three vital organs or branches: executive, legislative, and judicial branch. There is no sub-branch or division of legislative branch. In the executive , the country is divided into seven administrative division each placed under a divisional commissioner , each division is further sub-division into Zila (district). There are 64 districts(one is to be processing). The administration of each district consists of several thanas (Upazila), below thanas are unions which consists of several villages. In the judiciary, supreme court is the highest court of judiciary. There are also districts, sub-districts courts. In addition to, there are tribunal court etc.

Government peoples Republic of Bangladesh

Official name: The peoples republic of Bangladesh. Head of the state: President is the head of the state. Zillur Rahaman is the president, elected by parliament for a five-year term with the right to only one re-election. Head of the government: Prime minister is the head of the government. Siheikh Hasina is the prime minister, elected following legislative elections. Political system: Secular republic and unicameral parliamentary democracy. Legal system: The legal system is based on English common law. Language: Bangla ( officially known as Bengali) , English.

How to measure power: Power is qualitative. So, measurement of power is difficult. We measure power by identifying how many functions, he/she performs or field of function or limit of function. For example: the power of chairman of Upazila Parisod is limited his elected territory and he performs development programmes. But he can not interfere in the criminal side. Who are superior: Superior are those who hold the higher position of the administration. For example: Secretary (administrative) is the superior in the ministry. Who are inferior: Inferior are those who hold the lower position of the administration. For example: Assistant secretary is the inferior in the ministry. Elected representative: Elected representatives are those who are directly elected by the votes of general people. For example: MPs. Their power is higher than selected representatives. The prime minister is the elected representative of a country. He has the supreme power. He can do anything on basis of laws. Selected representative: selected representatives are those who are not directly elected but directly selected by the superior officials. For example: BCS cadres or government employee are not elected but they are selected by the superior officials. Their power is lower than the elected representatives.

Structure of the Government of the peoples Republic of Bangladesh

Government of the peoples republic of Bangladesh

Executive Branch

Judiciary Branch

Legislature Branch

Policy implementation

Policy analysis

Policy formulation

Government is a vital component of a country. Government is not composed of a single man. The government of the peoples republic of Bangladesh has three branches. Such as: The legislative branch: The main function of the legislative branch is to perform policy formulation. Policy formulation means to make policy. The judicial branch: The main function of the judicial branch is to perform policy analysis. After making any law in the legislature, there is any mistake in the policy this function is to perform in the judicial branch. The executive branch: The main function of the executive is to perform policy implementation. After policy analysis from the judiciary, the executive performs policy implementation.

Structure of Legislature branch Parliament constitution Speaker Primer minister president

Deputy speaker

Members of the parliament

39 ministries 345 MPs

Prime opposite party

The legislature: The legislature is one of the organs of government. The legislature branch of the government is a unicameral parliamentary form, 345 seats including 45 women reserved seats distributed on elected party position in the parliament. The legislature of Bangladesh is known as Jatiay Sonsad. Its permanent seat is Dhaka, the capital. One speaker and one deputy speaker are appointed from amongst the members by the vote of the members of Jatiya Songsad. The duration of the Jatiya Songsad is 5 years. The power and function of Parliament can be divided 3 parts: 1) The law making function: The jatiya sangsad can make new laws and change or amend the prevalent laws. The laws are created through bills by supporting two-thirds of the members of parliament . According to the constitution , the jatiya sangsad can amend, change, and improve law. 2) Financial function: The important responsibility of the sangsad is to pass the budget. without budget, no tax can be imposed or collected. 3) Control over the executive department: The prime minister and the ministers are jointly responsible to the parliament for their activities. Constitution: Constitution is the highest law of a country. Constitution works as a guideline of a country. The president: The head of the state of Bangladesh is the president. He/ She is formal or titular head. He is elected for a term of five years. The court has no jurisdiction over him. The national assembly can remove him by impeachment. No citizen of Bangladesh and under 35 years is not fit to be president. Power and function of the president:1) Executive function: As the president is the constitutional head of the government, all activities of the republic are conducted in his name. according to the advice of the

2) 3) 4) 5)

prime minister, he appoints other ministers, attorney general , chief justice of the supreme court, Ambassadors, three chief of the Armed forces and others. Legislative function: The president can summon the national assembly session. The bill accepted in the assembly are to sent the president for his content. Financial function: The recommendation is necessary for any financial bill. Judicial function: the president has the power to pardon a convicted person from his sentence. Emergency function: the president can declare emergency for the security of country. The prime minister: The prime minister is the centre of administration. Executive powers are in the hand of the prime minister. He/ she and his ministers are the real administrator of the country. The president appoints the leader of the majority party the prime minister. Power and function of the prime minister:1) Executive power: He/she is the centre of administration. He appoints of the ministers , high officials of the government. All executive function are performed by him/her. 2) Legislative function: The activities of the assembly are guided centering round the prime minister. 3) Leadership function: The prime minister is the leader of the majority political party in the assembly. He is the leader of legislature. In the assembly, his position is unparallel. The prime minister is the leader of nation. He is the leader and chairman of the council of the ministers. The speaker: The speaker is appointed by the president. The power and function of the speaker is to oath of the members of the parliament. His designation is after the prime minister and the president to the parliament. The ministers: There are 39 ministries in Bangladesh. Each ministry has one minister, one secretary and additional secretary etc. They apply their power in the specific field. Such as, the minister of the finance can not interfere in the ministry of Home affairs. The members of parliament: MPs are directly elected by the vote of the general people in a fixed territory. They attain in the policy making process. Their support is essential for making a policy. Two-thirds of the members will support to make a law, then the policy makes from the parliament. The opposite party: The opposite party is very important in the parliament. Now, BNP is the opposite party in the parliament. They also exercise power after the government party. They can rise oppose against the defect policy and works. They can also demand to the government party to give their work responsibility. They also influence the general people to bring out procession, announce meeting, for the defect policy and national issues.

Structure of the judicial branch


Sub-ordinate court

Supreme court


Civil court

Criminal court

Appellate division

High court division

Court of district judge

Court of additional district judge

Court of joint district judge

Court of senior assistant judge Special court/tribun al(criminal)

Court of sessions

Court of metropolitan sessions

Court of metropolitan magistrate

Court of magistrate

Judiciary branch: Three branches of the government, judiciary is one by which the rights of the people go to dogs, judiciary works as a . the judiciary system consists of a low court and a supreme court, both of which hear civil and criminal cases. The judge in these courts are appointed by the president through the ministry of law and justice or the ministry of Home affairs. The supreme court: The supreme court of Bangladesh comprises the Appellate division and the high court division. Appellate division: The functions of appellate division determine appeals from judgments, decrees or sentences of high court division. The chief justice of the supreme court sits in the divisions and there is no separate chief justice of high court division. High court division: The high court division shall have superintendence and control over all courts and tribunals subordinate to it. It hears appeals from orders, decrees and judgments of sub-ordinate courts and tribunals. Subordinate courts and tribunals: There are wide variety of sub-ordinate courts and tribunals. There are the basic courts in the system of judiciary of Bangladesh. The cases both civil and criminal, are tried and heard in such courts and tribunals. Such courts and tribunals spread all over the country at district level. Civil courts: The civil courts handle land related cases. Criminal courts: The criminals courts handle crime related cases. In addition to, the magistrate, the judge of high court, the judge of district, the magistrate exercise power in each individual field. They handle cases and tribunals on the basis of order and laws.

Structure of the executive branch

Minister/ ministry

Political head(elected)


Administrative head(selected)



Additional secretary



Joint secretary



Deputy sectary



Senior assistant secretary



Assistant secretary

Union Parisod(4498)


Gram Sarkar

Gram sarker Prodhan(elected)

Executive branch: The prime minister is the centre of administration. Executive branch consists of a prime minister the head of the government and the prime minister the head of the state. The prime minister is appointed by the president. The secretary: The secretary and who are those under the secretary, they are called bureaucrats. The secretary is the administrative head and principal Accounts officer. He handle all administrative function. Under his position, everyone is responsible to him. Divisional function: An officer of the rank of Deputy Commissioner heads this branch. It is responsible for all administrative matters in the Div. Commissioner's office and any other matter that may not be specifically coming under the purview of any other branch . He is Head of Revenue Administration and Zilla, Local Sector Government in the Division.

1) Ensure proper and effective co-ordination amongst the various organizations of the Government and public. 2) Remove the bottlenecks if any in the smooth implementation of the various development programme. 3) Supervise, guide and control the various offices in the division especially that of Collectors, Chief Executive Officers of Zilla, Superintendents of Police and Municipal Councils. 4) Ensure proper & effective implementation of the various developmental schemes including poverty alleviation, civil supplies, employment generation, drinking water, primary health, primary education and development of infrastructure, etc. District function: Branch is composed of sections. Deputy Secretary is the Branch head & works under the wing. So, the deputy secretary has to perform 37 functions. They are:
1.Revenue Functions. 2. Magisterial Functions. 3. Maintenance of public Order and Security. 4. Administration of Jails. 5. Control of fire Arms. 6. State Secret Matters. 7. Political and Confidential Functions. 8. Treasury and Stamp. 9. Anti- Corruption. 10. Mass Mobilisation. 11. Licence and Certificates. 12. Waqf, Debotter and Trusts. 13. Land Acquisition. 14. Press and Publications. 15. Election Matters. 16. Border. 17. Census. 18. Relief and Rehabilitation. 19. Food. 20. Ansar and V.D.P. 21. Civil Defence. 22. Labour. 23. Social Welfare. 24. Family Planning. 25. pension Matters. 26. Protocol. 27. Transport and Traffic Matters. 28. Transport pool. 29. Education and Conduct of Public Examinations. 30. Public Amusement. 31. Minority Matters. 32. Inter-Agency Matters. 33. D.Cs Estblishment. 34. Training function. 35. Public Complaints and Enquiries. 36. Functions relating to Local Government Institutions. 37. Residual executive and development duties.

Upazila Parisod:


Upazila Chairman (elected)

Union( chairman)

Section is the basic working unit. Senior Assistant Secretary & Assistant Secretary is the Section head & works under the branch.

The Upazila chairman: Upazila chairman is the elected representative of the upazila. The Upazila nirbahi officer: Upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) is the chief executive of and upazila (sub-district).UNO is the junior level officer of BCS(admin), mainly senior assistant secretary of his post. UNO is a representative of central government in the upazila level in Bangladesh. And magistrate is the most junior officer of the upazila level, mainly, the assistant secretary of the government. Function of upazila parisod: 1) Assistance to Zilla Parishad in development activities. 2) Promotion of health, family planning and Family Welfare. 3) Promotion of socio-cultural activities. 4) Government policies and programmes within the Upazila. 5) Provision for management of environment. 6) Training of Chairman, members and secretaries of Union Parishads 7) Planning and execution of all rural public works programmed. 8) Assistance to Zilla Parishad in development activities. 9) Promotion of educational and vocational activities. 10) Promotion of livestock fisheries and forest. Union parisod structure:

Union Parisod



Woman member in reserved seat


Union parishod is the lowest local government system. At present, we have 4480 union parsiod, union parisods are run by the directly elected representatives. The chairman: there shall be a chairman of union parisod directly elected by the votes of the union. The power of the chairman is limited within elected territory. The members: nine members shall be directly elected from the nine wards constituting the union. Union Parsiod Function: 1. preparation of a comprehensive union plan and inter ward development . 2. co-operative for the development of primary school, supervise their function. 3. Ensure health service, supervise family planning, arrange for supply safe drinking water and promote sanitation programme. 4. construction of inter-ward roads, mange small scale irrigation and water resources. 5. implement afforestation programme both side of the road and embankments. 6. Up-to- date registration of birth , death, and marriage based on report from gram parisad. 7. assist upazila parishad to develop fisheries project.

8. increase awareness for women and child development. Gram sarker structure:

Gram sarker prodhan

Gram sarker adviser


Recommendations: 1) The conflict among the MPs , Upazila chairman and the UNO. But co-operativeness can perform the administrative work successfully. So co-operativeness should ensure among them. A model : MPs co-operative way Responsibility

Upazila chairman UNO

2) The administrative work should be free from unfair. To do such kind of work, an administration should be innocent, honest. Concluding remark: in addition to, city mayor, purosova chairman, chairman of zila parisod (elected) exercise power. The government exercise supreme power. The government should very conscious when he distributes power higher level to lower level. We should bear in mind that when we use power that can be governmental power or other power, should conscious that use of power at the right time and position is good, by using it, welfare ensure for the general people, but the abuse of power may not the wish of the general people. Reference: 1) Ministry of local government. 2) The prime minister web site. 3) Ministry of information. 4) Ministry of law and justice. 5) Ministry of public administration. 6) Cabinet division. 7) The article of union parisod by Bangladesh study. 8) The article of local government decentralization by Fazle Rabbi. 9) The article of local government ordinance 1989.