National Implementation Committee for Administrative Reorganization-Reform

National Implementation Committee for Administrative Reorganization-Reform (NICAR) a standing committee formed as the sequel to the recommendations that flowed from the Report of the Committee on Administrative Reorganization/ Reform (CARR) of 1982. It was formally constituted in August 1982 with the then Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrator, Rear Admiral M.A Khan, as its chairman. Also included in the Committee was Minister for Finance and Planning, Minister for Law and Law Reforms, Minister for Agriculture, Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Staff Officer to the Chief Martial Law Administrator. The Colonel Staff (Implementation) of the Chief Martial Law Administrator's secretariat was the secretary to the Committee.

The terms of reference of NICAR were: (a) identification of the different phases under which the reorganization would be carried out; (b) determination of the minimum strength of officers and staff of different categories and other facilities that would be made available to each thana under plan of reorganization; (c) identification of the thana which would be taken up for development in the first phase based on the agricultural facilities available in the existing thanas; (d) prescribing a timetable for development of thanas in phases, elimination of the subdivisional administration, creation of new districts along with providing personnel and other facilities; (e) giving guidelines to Establishment Division and to Law and Parliamentary Affairs Division to plan recruitment and posting of proper personnel in the thanas and districts, according to the timetable; (f) giving guidelines to Ministry of Works, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Land Administration and Land Reforms Division regarding the facilities for land, buildings, roads and so on for thanas and the districts.

The Committee was authorized to co-opt other members if necessary. It was, however, required to keep the Chief Martial Law Administrator and the Council of Ministers informed of the development from time to time. In September 1982, three more senior army officials were co-opted as members. Later, five more persons inclusive of three ministers and two senior civil secretaries were also co-opted as members of the Committee. The periodicity at which NICAR should sit and deliberate on implementation issues was not specified in the terms of reference of the Committee. During the period from 15 September 1982, when the first meeting was held, to March 1985 NICAR held as many as thirty-one meetings. Since its inception till August 1984, the Chief of Naval Staff acted as chairman of the Committee. When martial law government inducted a civilian Prime Minister, he replaced the chief of Naval Staff as chairman of NICAR. As a committee with a very high level representation from government, NICAR became more of an executive body providing decisions on implementation measures. It was more in the nature of a cabinet sub-committee on administrative reorganization, the decisions of which, unless otherwise rescinded or modified by the Chief Martial Law Administrator, were to be implemented by the various agencies of the government. Two major implementation issues received priority of NICAR, first, upgrading of thanas into upazilas, second, conversion of old sub-divisions into districts, and the creation of some new districts. On more important and complicated issues, NICAR formed committees and sub-committees to examine specific issues and make recommendations. Thus not less than sixteen committees/sub-committees were formed to deal with issues of complex nature. [AMM Shawkat Ali]