Ministry asks government organisations to follow PM order on buying goods from SoEs

Staff Correspondent | Published at 11:21pm on January 25, 2020

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A file photo shows pillars and a span of under construction infrastructure of metro rail in Dhaka. The industries ministry has asked all ministries and agencies to follow the prime minister’s instruction regarding purchase of goods produced by state-owned enterprises for public sector development projects.—  New Age photo  

The industries ministry has asked all ministries and agencies to follow the prime minister’s instruction on purchase of goods produced by state-owned enterprises for public sector development projects.

The ministry on December 19 in a letter to the heads of the ministries, divisions and other government agencies reminded them of prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s instruction issued in March 2010 as many of the agencies were not following the instruction.

In an instruction given at an ECNEC meeting on March 2 in the year, the prime minister said that government agencies should buy products of state-owned companies on priority basis in government procurement.

They will be able to buy products from the market which are not available at the government entities, she said.

According to the letter, a number of companies under the Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation, the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation, the Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation   and the Bangladesh Industrial Technical Assistance Centre produce various types of quality products ranging from motor vehicles to electric and electronics products, construction materials, fertilisers, sugar and import substitute machinery and spare parts.

Officials said that the government offices could buy motorcycle and motor vehicles from Atlas Bangladesh Ltd and Pragoti Industries Ltd as both the companies assemble quality motorcycle and motor vehicles.

Procurement of motor vehicles from the two entities will save hard‑earned foreign currency.

BSEC companies, including the Bangladesh Blade Factory, Eastern Cables Ltd, Eastern Tubes Ltd, National Tubes Ltd, Gazi Wires Ltd and General Electric Manufacturing Company Ltd, also produce enamelled copper wire, LED bulb, florescent tube light, CFL bulb, blade, transformer, GI pipe, MS pipe, MS rod, safety razor, steel pipe and other products.

Jamuna Fertiliser Company Ltd, Chittagong Urea Fertiliser ltd, Urea Fertiliser Factory Ltd, TSP Complex Ltd, Usmania Glass Sheet Factory Ltd, Bangladesh Insulator and Sanitary Wares Ltd and Chhatak Cement Company Ltd under the BCIC produce various types of fertilisers, paper, glass sheets, hard boards, sanitary wares, insulators and cement, the letter said.

BSFIC also produces sugar, organic fertiliser and vinegar while BITAC manufactures repair import-substitute machinery and spare parts, it said.

Officials of the industries ministry said that they had reminded other ministries and divisions on various occasions about the prime minister’s instruction as it was not followed as in most cases.

Many of the companies are struggling to thrive due to recurrent losses as a huge amount of products remain unsold every year, they said, adding that the companies could make profit even if only the government agencies bought the products.

The companies are facing uneven competition as they also lag behind the competitive private companies, they said.

The government agencies can buy the products following direct procurement methods without the need for tenders, they added.