CLOSING POWER SECTOR ACCOUNTS

Janata Bank seeks revision of decision

Manjurul Ahsan | Published: 00:05, Apr 03,2018 | Updated: 00:44, Apr 03,2018

 
 

State-owned Janata Bank has requested the power division to revise its decision to stop financial transactions and close accounts of power sector agencies with the bank for not paying $3.88 million in performance guarantee issued to a private company of Awami League lawmaker Md Aslamul Haque.
The power division made the decision at a meeting on January 28 with chief coordinator for sustainable development goals Md Abul Kalam Azad in the chair, said officials.
Janata Bank has allegedly kept the state-run Power Development Board waiting for more than six months for the encashment of the performance guarantee issued for setting up and operating a 108MW power plant at Gabtoli in Dhaka, they said.
At a review meeting on the progress of power plant project implementation on February 8, the decision was officially adopted in the resolution, the officials said.
In a letter, the power division received on March 29, Janata Bank chief executive officer and managing director Md Abdus Salam Azad regretted the delay in complying with the power board’s decision.
He said that the power division’s decision was hampering banking activities.
Power board chairman Khaled Mahmud on Monday told New Age that the power division and the board would make a decision on the bank’s request in a day or two.
The government extended the duration of the power plant’s construction and the power board extended the tenure of performance guarantee by almost five years in phases, said power board officials.
The power board issued a notice of encashment of the performance guarantee on the expiry of the last extension on July 19, 2017, they said.
Janata Bank did not respond to power board’s repeated requests, they alleged.
In his letter, Janata Bank managing director said that it was an unintended delay in correspondence with the power board on an appeal for a six-month extension of the performance guarantee.
He admitted that the bank made delay in approving a request of the power company for a six-month extension of the performance guarantee from July 20, 2017 to January 19, 2018.
On January 30, 2018, the bank issued a letter approving the extension with retrospective effect, he said.
Abdus Salam also informed the power division that the bank had already approved another six-month extension of the performance guarantee until July 19, 2018.
In 2011, Maisha Group’s three companies — Dhaka North Power Utility Co Ltd, Dhaka West Power Ltd and CLC Power Company Ltd — were awarded three contracts for supplying electricity for 15 years from three power plants with 108MW capacity each to be set up in and around Dhaka.
The companies were given one year for the commissioning of the power plants by 2012.
Only CLC Power Company Ltd managed to commission one power plant at Basila on February 22, 2017, four years after its original date of commissioning, document shows.
Dhaka West Power Ltd was denied further extension while the tenure of the corresponding performance guarantee for Dhaka North Power Utility Co Ltd for its 108MW power plant would expire on July 19, 2018. 

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