GM Quader, Jatiya Party Chairman and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Jatiya Sangsad, has questioned the role of government in raising fares in the transport sector.
At the 15th session of parliament on Sunday, the deputy opposition leader termed the student "half pass" fare demand reasonable and called on the government to decide on the issue quickly.
"Who controls the transport sector? Does the government have any control here? Or is it controlled by owner-worker associations? Are government officials colluding with leaders in this sector?" asked GM Quader.
"Bus owners can demand a fare hike following rising fuel prices, which is quite normal but people across the country have had to tolerate inhumane suffering, which is not acceptable. Moreover, it public transport cannot be whimsically stopped without direction or concerted initiative of a central leadership," he said.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) should take action against those who hold passengers hostage with unannounced strikes, but there has been no such initiative, said the Jatiya Party chairman.
Expressing concern about both diesel-run and gas-run buses not running during the agitation, he said the BRTA had fixed separate fares for both diesel and gas run vehicles in response to the demands of the owners.
But the busses are overcharging passengers regardless the vehicles run by diesel or gas.
Quader also said that when the price of oil goes down in the international market, it is not reduced in the country. The international market is followed only when the price increases.
Criticising the rise in commodity prices, he said prices of all commodities have gone up in the open market even though there is no plausible reason for this, and that it seems the government does not have any control over the commodity market. He said unemployment is rising, poverty is rising, but incomes are declining, leaving people in misery.
Regarding the theft of documents from the Ministry of Health, he said, "I have been talking for a long time about the irregularities of the ministry but corruption does not seem to end. Recently, 17 purchase documents went missing. The investigation committee reported that the file had been destroyed. So it seems corruption has been covered up."
For the welfare of retired members of parliament, Quader said many lawmakers work honestly but lead an inhumane life after retirement. He demanded a post-retirement allowance and access to the VIP lounge for members of parliament, which is a practice in many countries.