The government has suspended the contract awarding of all new tender proposals under the Public Works Division until June 30.
The Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase at a meeting on Wednesday put the moratorium as there is no enough time to implement any new project under the current fiscal year (2020-21).
“We don’t have enough time for implementing any new project. Only one month is left before the new fiscal year starts,” said Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal while briefing reporters after a cabinet body meeting.
Mustafa Kamal presided over the meeting as convener of the Cabinet body.
He, however, said only the proposals of the ongoing projects and foreign-funded ones will be considered for approval in addition to any cost variation.
“All the other projects will remain suspended. New projects involve different kinds of material purchase and the prices of which are not stable. We don’t know the prices of the materials of the projects under the Public Works Division in the current abnormal situation,” the minister said.
Cabinet Division’s additional secretary Dr Shahida Aktar said all the five proposals of the Public Works Department which were placed by the Public Works Division were rejected by the committee in compliance with the new decision.
Meanwhile, the cabinet body approved a total of eight other proposals, including the import of wheat, LNG and fertilizers, placed by different divisions and ministries.
Two of these proposals were placed by the Energy Division for import of LNG.
As per the proposals, state-owned Petrobangla will import 3.36 million MMBtu of liquified natural gas (LNG) from Excelerate Energy, United States, at a cost of Tk 318.25 crore from the international spot market through quotation at $9.93 per MMBtu of LNG.
Another similar proposal for the import of the same quantity of 3.36 million MMBtu of LNG at Tk 298.22 crore was approved by the committee. The per MMBtu was valued at $8.93, which was earlier purchased in the same process.
The committee also approved a proposal of the Directorate General of Food under the Food Ministry to import 50,000 metric tons of non-Bashmoti parboiled rice from Soubhik Export Limited, India, at a total cost of Tk 163.66 crore. Each metric ton of rice was valued at $386 while each kg of rice will be priced Tk 32.73.
The bulk rice will be imported through railway from West Bengal’s Chhattrishgar to Dorshana via Benapole.
This is the first time rice is being imported through railways from India, said Dr Shahida Aktar.
Two proposals, placed by the Agriculture Ministry, were approved by the committee for the import of fertiliser.
Of these, the Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) will import 180,000 metric tons of MOP fertiliser from Belarus at a cost of Tk 447.82 crore with each MT being priced $289.87.
The BADC will import 150,000 MT of TSP fertiliser from Tunisia at a cost of Tk 723.77 crore -- each MT at $568.
The Cabinet committee approved a proposal of the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) to procure 30,000 MT of urea fertiliser from Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company at a cost of Tk 92.38 crore. Each MT of fertiliser was valued at $362.50 per MT.
A proposal of the Secondary and Higher Education Division also received the approval of the committee to award a contract to Korean Company THAIHAN Consortium for supplying hardware and services for the project titled: Establishment of 160 Upazila ICT Training and Resource for Education Phase -II. The contract was valued at Tk 460 crore.