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14 March, 2016 00:00 00 AM
Print

12 SoEs deprive govt of over Tk 153cr in revenue

Customs norms flouted, codes changed, false declarations filed
Shamsuddin Illius, Ctg

The government has lost out on Tk 153.53 crore in revenues over the past five years as 12 state-owned enterprises (SoEs) did not make the requisite payments to the Customs authorities while importing goods, flouting Custom Procedure Codes (CPCs) and making false declarations to the Chittagong Customs.
The Customs authorities have so far been able to recover Tk 38.32 crore from the five companies. A sum of Tk 115.21 crore is still to be recovered from the eight firms for the period of the past five years.
The errant companies are: Power Grid Company of Bangladesh, Shahjalal Fertiliser Project, Ashuganj Power Station Company Ltd, Chatak Cement Company Ltd, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA), Dhaka Power Distribution Co. Ltd, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), Director General of the Central Medical Stores Department, BPDB-RPCL Powergen Ltd, North West Power Generation Co. Ltd, Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation, and Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation.
Chittagong Customs’ joint commissioner Rezaul Hoque said: “These state-owned companies have abused the facilities under the CPC, as a result of which the government has lost out on huge amounts of revenue. To realise the sums, we have served notices on them many times. There is a provision that if they do not pay up after notices are served three times, their business identification numbers (BINs) can be stopped.
There is also the option of other forms of punishment. We have informed all the errant firms after serving them notices. If they fail to pay up, we will take action against them.”
In January 2014, Shahjalal Fertiliser Project of Sylhet imported 2,902 tonnes of agricultural goods worth Tk 75 crore from China (bill of entry [B/E] no. 13535), changing the actual HS code, as a result of which the government lost out on revenues worth Tk 204,227,500. (The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System is also known as the Harmonized System [HS]).
The government lost out on revenues worth Tk 40.81 crore on four consignments (B/E nos. 75555, 536792, 15088, and 13535) of Shahjalal Fertiliser Project between 2013 and 2014. C&F agents Sea Coast Shipping and Trading Ltd and Gulf Orient Seaways released its goods.
On November 10, 2015, the Customs authorities issued a notice to the company.
Md Kamruzzaman, project director of the company, told The Independent: “It is a mere misunderstanding. It is a government project, not a private project. There is no question of depriving the government of revenue. We have received the letter and replied to it. We have sent our representatives to explain everything to them.”
It was found that between 2011 and 2015, Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) abused facilities under

 the CPC by making false declarations. The government was deprived of revenue worth Tk. 213,774,185. The CPC facilities were flouted on 10 consignments. The company gave a declaration under CPC-602 instead of CPC-173. It imported steel tower, steel structures consisting of plates, angles, bolts, step bolts, nuts, flat washers, spring washers and accessories. The consignment bills had entry numbers 125156, 5829, 150421, 154943, 82770, 129574, 158501, 91098, 6033, and 1229769. C&F agent MAK International, MK Khan & Co, Bangladesh Shipping Agencies and Seven Star released the goods.
Though the Chittagong Customs issued notices several times to the company, it did not respond. The last notice was issued on December 31, 2015, said the sources with the Customs.
Chowdhury Alamgir Hossain, executive director (planning and development) of PGCB, told The Independent: “I will not make any comment as I am not fully aware of it.” However, preferring anonymity, a senior company official said the maximum number of items was imported from 2011 to 2012 for a project using wrong HS code. Hence, the Customs authorities have demanded an additional Tk 21.38 crore. Meanwhile, the project’s tenure has expired, and the company did not get any new allocation for the project; as a result, it could not pay up.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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