State minister Mannan blames improper communication

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 11:50pm on July 18, 2018

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A file photo shows a customs official holding a gold bar seized at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. The customs intelligene deposits the precious metal to Bangladesh Bank. — New Age photo

State minister for finance and planning MA Mannan on Wednesday blamed improper communication between Customs Intelligence of the National Board of Revenue and the Bangladesh Bank for the mismatch in quality and quantity of gold in the central bank vault.
News on the basis of allegations made by Customs Intelligence was not true, he told reporters after a meeting with the officials of the Bangladesh Bank, the National Board of Revenue and the Financial Institution Division at the ministry.
He, however, said that the government was not taking the matter lightly.
Asked if the government would probe the allegation against the central bank, he said that there would be a review at least.
Next step would be taken
after the arrival of finance minister AMA Muhith from abroad, he said, adding that action would be taken if any lapse was found.
The meeting was convened few days after the reports of mismatch in quality and quantity of gold kept in the central bank vault hogged the newspapers’ headlines.
The meeting was attended among others by central bank governor Fazle Kabir, Financial Institutions Division secretary Eunusur Rahman, Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigation director general Md Shahidul Islam, customs valuation and internal audit commissionerate commissioner Moinul Khan and central bank general manager Mohammad Khurshid Wahab.
Mannan observed that clerical mistake while depositing the gold and ornaments three years ago led the Customs
Intelligence to raise the allegation.
He also observed that the panic caused by the news in the newspapers was, however, reduced following clarification by the central bank in an impromptu briefing on Tuesday.
The central bank rejected the investigation report saying that the mismatch took place due to clerical mistakes and differences in measurement.
Economists and businesspeople already said that allegations of mismatch in quality and quantity of gold kept in Bangladesh Bank vault were unexpected and shocking and demanded immediate probe into the allegations.