Cabinet body okays imports of rice & fertilizers

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Dhaka, Dec 09: Imports of rice and fertilisers were among 10 proposals approved by the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase on Wednesday.

The Food Department’s proposal to award a contract to India-based Rika Global Impex Ltd for supplying 50,000 metric tonnes (MT) of non-Basmati parboiled rice worth USD 20.2175 million (Tk 171.44 crore) was approved by the committee, headed by Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Haque.

The Food Department’s contract variation proposal to extend the cost of consultant firm — GERICO France — for supervision of steel silo construction under the Modern Food Storage Facilities Project (MFSP) also received the committee’s nod. Now, the consultant’s cost will go up by an additional Tk 22.53 crore to Tk 44.08 crore from Tk 21.55 crore.

Two proposals placed by the Industries Ministry were also approved by the cabinet panel, one paving the way for state-run Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) to import 25,000 MT of bulk granular urea from Qatar Chemical and Petrochemical Marketing and Distribution Company at a total cost of Tk 56.06 crore under a state-level agreement.

BCIC has also been allowed to import 50,000 MT of bulk granular materials from Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) in two separate lots of equal quantity at a total cost of Tk 111.80 crore, officials said.

A tender proposal by the Roads and Highways Department for development of six-lane Narayangonj Link Road to six lanes also received the committee’s nod. A joint venture of National Development Engineers Limited, Taher Brothers Ltd and Hasan Brothers Ltd has already been awarded the project worth Tk 364.25 crore.

The Narayangonj Link Road (Signboard-Chasara) project involves construction of flexible pavement, rigid pavement, three foot bridges, service lanes, bus bays, U-turns and drains with footpaths. The project will be implemented by Road Division Narayangonj during the year 2020-2021.

Three proposals of the Shipping Ministry were also cleared by the committee, with one allowing the Mongla Port Authority to award a contract to a private firm to conduct dredging work and other relevant work at the inner channel of the port at a cost of Tk 726.10 crore.

The clearance of the second proposal by the same ministry has paved the way for the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) to award a contract to Netherlands-based PLM Crane to supply a pontoon-mounted grab dredger with dredge-material carrying barges at a cost of Tk 206.73 crore.

BIWTA has also been permitted to award another contract to two firms— JFMC and Anando Shipyard & Slipways Ltd — to supply multi-purpose inspection vessels at a cost of Tk 60.10 crore and Tk 50.67 crore, respectively, officials said.

The cabinet committee also approved a Chinese-Bangladeshi consortium’s proposal to set up a 55 MW wind power plant on build-own-operate basis in Mongla.

As per the proposal, the Consortium of Envision Energy, (Jiangsu) Co Ltd, China, SQ Trading and Engineering, Bangladesh, and Envision Renewable Energy Limited, Hong Kong, will set up the plant under a 20- year contract with the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).

The state-owned BPDB will purchase electricity from the plant at USD 13.20 cent, equivalent to Tk 10.56, per kilowatt hour (each unit) over the period of 20 years.

“As a result, the government will pay a total of Tk 2035.12 crore for the entire contract period against its purchase of electricity from the maiden private wind power project,” said Saleh Ahmed, additional secretary of the Cabinet Division, while briefing on the meeting.

However, four proposals of Power Division — one for renewal of 53 MW gas-fired rental power plant, one for setting up a 50 MW solar power plant in private sector and two for procurement of submarine cables for rural electrification — failed to get the nod of the committee.

A proposal of Chattagram Port for procurement of four gantry cranes was also rejected by the committee.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has also rejected a proposal of the Roads and Highways Department on widening of Hatirjheel-Rampura Bridge-Demra highway under public-private partnership (PPP) on the ground of “inadequate supporting documents”.