Monday, February 19, 2018 | ePaper

BCIC should run wider probe into all fertilizer storages

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AS per media report on Tuesday, a manager charged in a BCIC warehouse in Patuakhali simply vanished into the air with Tk 10 crore worth fertilizer in last November but mysteriously the employer has not taken any noticeable step to find out the government official-turned-thief. In BCIC fertilizer disappearing, fund embezzlement and such other high corruption are regular phenomena however in most cases officials going unpunished is an usual matter like the case in hands. How it all happened and he disappeared did not come to anyone's attention until recently. It goes without saying that such theft in BCIC warehouses regularly takes place with involvement of a number of people who share financial benefits and work together to hide the theft.

Report said that Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) has recently set up a Committee to investigate into the rot and waste of fertilizers at its Patuakhali warehouse compound. But the huge theft came to the notice in the wake of the investigation that BCIC had not seen before. The missing of fertilizer from the warehouse came into notice when the manager in question following his transfer to Chittagong Urea Fertilizer Ltd on December last year did not join to his new workplace.

Meanwhile, a fertilizer transport agent wrote to the BCIC that he had not got material received receipt (MRR) for 2,450 tonnes of fertilizer he had delivered to the Patuakhali warehouse. Taking the fact into consideration, when BCIC asked the concerned person for an explanation, he went into hiding. Two probe bodies have already been formed but none of them appears working sincerely to end the probe apparently to help him resolve the case otherwise.

Misappropriation of fertilizer by unscrupulous business syndicates in the process of shipment, transportation and delivery to different points in the country is causing huge losses to BCIC annually. Such mismanagement is big setback to fertilizer distribution system. This systematic graft has cost the state about Tk 100 crore loss each year since 2009. But, the government or Anti-Corruption Commission is not giving enough attention to fight back the corrupt officials and reach fertilizer to the farmers. Corruption takes off 2-5 percent of our GDP.

Reduction of corruption requires drastic measures and exemplary punishment. Fertilizer import at higher cost and its local distribution is highly vulnerable to high corruption and grabbing of public funds. There may be many more Patuakhali like cases but left undetected. We suggest wider investigation into fertilizer storage and delivery to get a transparent view to bring discipline in this sector. 

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