Vol. 5 Num 558 Wed. December 21, 2005  
Front Page

Tk 6,000cr audit objections show BCIC's graft, JS body observes

A parliamentary body yesterday observed that the outstanding audit objections involving Tk 6,000 crore against the Bangladesh Chemical and Industries Corporation (BCIC) suggest the corporation indulges in irregularities and mismanagement.

A total of 5, 748 objections have remained unresolved for years.

The parliamentary standing committee on public undertakings decided to discuss the issue at its January 2 meeting to find out the reasons for the delay in resolving those in presence of the comptroller and auditor general.

"We will find out the reasons for negligence in resolving the objections and the persons involved," Abdul Alim, chairman of the committee, told The Daily Star yesterday after a meeting at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.

Referring to the audit objections, Awami League (AL) lawmaker and committee member Faruk Khan said that the BCIC incurs a loss of about Tk 300 crore a year due to systems losses and irregularities.

The BCIC officials in a report informed the meeting that the corporation, which was set up in 1974 with 88 industries, currently has only 12 of those functioning.

"The rest of the industries are not run properly. A sub-committee was formed to investigate the causes," Faruk Khan said.

About the losses, the BCCI officials said the corporation makes huge losses as it sells fertiliser at a price lower than the production cost.

The parliamentary body also discussed the current stocks of fertiliser in the country.

The BCIC officials told the committee that they will produce 18.5 lakh metric tons of fertiliser and import 3.5 lakh metric tons while Kafco (Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company Limited) will provide another 3.5 lakh metric tons. The total demand for fertiliser stands at 28 lakh metric tons.

"We have yet to get the nod from the government to import the extra amount of fertiliser to face potential crisis," a senior official of the industries ministry told the meeting.

The parliamentary body decided to ask the home ministry and BDR and the coastguard to step up surveillance along the border areas to stop local fertiliser being smuggled out.