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25 June, 2019 12:39:06 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 25 June, 2019 02:36:33 AM
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BSTI to end LoC project halfway

Indian supplier fails to deliver equipment
DEEPAK ACHARJEE, Dhaka
BSTI to end LoC project halfway

The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute (BSTI) is going to close a project titled ‘Modernisation and Strengthening of BSTI’ midway due to the supplier's inability to provide the necessary equipment on a regular basis. An Indian bidder, M/S Analytical Technologies Limited, was selected by the authorities concerned to supply the equipment, as the BSTI project had been taken under the Indian line of credit (LoC), according to sources in the industries ministry and the BSTI. The authorities had extended the supply agreement seven times and the letter of credit (LC) nine times with the supplier for proper supply of the required equipment. They had also extended the project for three more years.

Initially, the project was set to be executed in five years (2010–2014) at a cost of Tk. 28.13 crore. After nine years, however, the BSTI is going to announce to end the project due to unavailability of equipment.

After holding talks with the Economic Relation Division (ERD) and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the BSTI authorities have fined M/S Analytical Technologies Limited and asked it to pay rest of the total cost, a senior official of the industries ministry said.

Already, the industries ministry has sent a letter the ERD secretary informing the matter.

The letter, issued by industries ministry deputy chief Md Nurul Amin Khan, says that an agreement was inked between the BSTI and M/S Analytical Technologies Limited  for a project at a cost of USD 2.13 million on November 28, 2013.

 Indian company was supposed to supply 136 types of laboratory equipment, 200 types of chemicals, and 160 types of glassware and relevant services within six months.

However, the company failed to supply the equipment within the stipulated time, the letter adds.

“The authorities had extended the agreement seven times and also extended LC nine times so that the bidder can supply the goods properly. But the bidder did not supply the equipment, although it was given reminders several time,” the letter states.

On receiving the reminder, the bidder supplied 236 types of equipment, 200 types of chemical and 91 types of glassware. It also pressurised the BSTI to pay the bill. But the BSTI disagreed to pay the bill as it did not receive all the equipment as per the agreement, according to the letter.

After not receiving payment, the bidder informed the matter to the PMO and the ERD secretary. ERD additional secretary Md Zahidul Haque called a meeting on 16 January this year to resolve the issue.

At the meeting, it was decided that half of the bill (USD 213,007.68 out of USD 426,015.37) would be paid to the Indian company and another half would be deducted as penalty due to the bidder's inability to honour the agreement, the letter said.

Quoting the decision of the meeting, the industries ministry asked the Exim Bank of India to make a payment of USD

213,007.68 to the Indian bidder. When contacted, BSTI director (chemical) Pankaj Kumar Kundu, who is also the director of the project, told The Independent that they had taken the project to fully equip the national standards body with tools to develop and promote industrial standardisation.

“We have only received partial delivery of equipment from M/S Analytical Technologies Limited,” he added.

According to sources, three projects under the USD 862 million LoC-1 are still struggling due to implementation delay, while some from the USD 2.0 billion of LoC-2 and USD 4.5 billion of LoC-3 are also being delayed.

Some projects, including the construction of the second Bhairab and second Titas bridges with an approach rail link, procurement of 120 broad gauge coaches for Bangladesh Railway, and modernisation of the signalling and interlocking system of three stations in the Ashuganj-Akhaura section in the eastern zone of Bangladesh Railway have been completed under the Indian LoC.

MK

 

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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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