Recruitment of manpower at different levels in Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) has turned out to be business like trading of commodities, allege industry insiders.
They say some officials in the state-run organization have taken recruitment as a tool of minting money, making the process politicized. Also, nepotism is a factor that led to appointment even on ad hoc basis, whereas BCIC rules do not allow such a practice.
During the BNP regime in 2001, a good number of partisan people got their jobs in the corporation, cashing in on such ad hoc appointment. Later, during the AL-led grand alliance government rule, a minister who was at the helm of the Ministry of Industries followed the suit and the recruitment business went unabated.
Firstly, officers, employees and workers are recruited on ad hoc basis and then regularised through advertisements. In a span of 14 years, eight officers and 50 employees and workers got their jobs through such a process.
"In the illegal process, some officers of no less than a general manager status and CBA leaders are involved," a BCIC officer said, preferring anonymity. While talking about the widespread corruption in the government entity, he also pointed his finger at a former chairman of BCIC who later took over as Industries Secretary.
These corrupt officials have created such an atmosphere that nobody other than any relative of any member of the BCIC staff makes his or her fortune there. Appointment in the BCIC means transactions of a big sum of money. Tk 5-10 lakh is transacted for a job. Just after joining service in exchange for money, the employees become CBA members. And their only job is to engage themselves in lobbying as per desires of the CBA leaders. The newly recruited officers join the Officers Welfare Association to get a protection from the leaders in case they run a business independently.
BCIC's Additional Chief Accountant Md Delwar Hossain is allegedly involved in real estate business, Chief Finance Officer Lutfar Rahman has a plan to set up an industrial unit. He is trying to make a registration in the Office of the Joint Stock Companies. However, these two officials could not be reached over phone for their comments despite several attempts.
Besides, more than 50 officers of this corporation are allegedly involved in some business. More than a hundred officers have palatial buildings and flats.
For appointment in the Shahjalal Fertilizer Factory, an ongoing project, on daily basis Tk 60 to 70 thousand per person is learnt to have been realized. Similarly, for appointment to the posts of data entry operator, office assistant cum computer operator and LD cum computer operator in the Ashuganj Fertilizer factory, an amount of at least Tk 5 lakh was realized.
In 2009, the Anti-corruption Commission cancelled the appointments of 19 employees to the Ashuganj Fertilizer factory. At present, a case is lying pending with the High Court, as those 19 job-seekers lodged a writ petition with the court to get back their jobs in the BCIC.
In January 2013, advertisements were placed in newspapers for appointment of 75 persons against 19 vacant posts. About 4,000 applications were received. On receipt of those applications, written tests and viva voce were taken in January this year. Later, the appointment process was finalized in the BCIC's Board Room. Because of legal complexities, the appointment process of 16 out of 75 posts was suspended.
There are allegations from the remaining 59 applicants that Tk 2 crore 95 lakh were realized from them as bribe.
On the alleged bribery, BCIC's Chairman Munsur Ali Sikder told the Daily Observer: "I have no idea if any financial transaction has taken place regarding appointment and that is why I cannot make any comment."