Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) has failed to publish its annual report in the last eight years because of administrative weakness, unfitness and dearth of efficient people in the state-run organization.
Industry insiders say as BCIC lacks transparency, corruptions are gradually eating up its vitals. The officials, however, have been conducting an audit ostensibly in place of the annual report since the 2004-05 fiscal year (FY) to conceal all wrong doings, according to the people close to the state entity.
As per the Industrial Enterprises Nationalisation Order of 1972, BCIC came into being on July 1, 1976 with the merger of Bangladesh Fertilizer, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Corporation, Bangladesh Paper and Board Corporation and Bangladesh Tanneries Corporation. Initially, it started working with 88 factories. Afterwards, the government set up six fertilizer factories, which along with three other factories were handed over to the BCIC. With those, the number of factories belonging to the BCIC rose to 97. Out of those, 62 enterprises were divested, while ownership of seven such enterprises was transferred to the Sena Kalyan Sangstha, a welfare trust of former army personnel. On divestment of some other enterprises until FY 2004-05, 20 medium and large industrial units remained under the direct control and management of BCIC. Of them, 11 units, including seven fertilizer factories, one paper mill, one cement factory, one glass factory and Bangladesh Insulator and Sanitary ware Factory were in operation. The rest nine units faced closure. The eight units were shut down after paying all dues of members of the staff in those units.
The BCIC's monthly Management Information System (MIS) in December, 2013 revealed that the BNP-led government shut down 5 out of the 19 factories under BCIC. These closed factories are Chittagong Chemical Complex, Khulna Newsprint Mills, North Bengal Paper Mills, Dhaka Leather Complex and Karnaphuli Rayon and Chemical Company. Besides, because of recurrent losses Khulna Hard Board Mills, Bangladesh Insulator and Sanitary Ware Factory and Karnaphuli Paper Mills are on the verge of closure. Meanwhile, the present government is planning to set up an industrial park with six industrial units, including Bangladesh Insulator and Sanitary Ware Factory and the five that were closed during the BNP regime.
BCIC's running industries are Chittagong Urea Fertilizer, Jamuna Fertilizer, Ashuganj Fertilizzer and Chemical Company, Urea Fertilizer Company, Natural Gas Fertilizer Factory, Palash Urea Fertilizer, TSP Complex and Usmania Glass Sheet Factory.
BCIC-controlled factories can be divided into three parts-fertilizer, paper and other sectors.
BCIC is now implementing a project, Shahjalal Fertilizer Factory. The projected cost of this project, started in 2011, was estimated to be Tk 5,409 crore. Of the amount, the government will provide Tk 1,422.92 crore and the remaining Tk 3,986.08 crore will be provided by the Chinese government and the Chinese Exim Bank. The Chinese company Complant is its builder. The project implementation period is 38 months. In case of non-completion of the project on time its construction cost is going to exceed Tk 7,000 crore. The project is riddled with various allegations including quality of work, financing and manpower recruitment.
According to the MIS report in FY 2012-13, BCIC's head office had 470 employees and 318 officers. Besides, in 13 factories, there were 4,381 workers, 2,549 employees and 1,790 officers.