An irregularity of Tk 1.86 crore has been found in the name of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) purchases by Transport Division of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).
After scrutinising the vouchers and other documents of CNG purchase, the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh recently found disparity in a bill issued by the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013-14.
The bill reads that the DNCC purchased 6,21,032 cubic feet of CNG at Tk30 per cubic foot at total Tk1,86,30,960 from Pauro Filling Station of Saidabad area in Dhaka.
However, after talking to the persons concerned, this reporter found the filling station never had gas refill service. Only petrol, diesel and octane are available at the filling station, Shamim Hawlader, the manager of the filling station confirmed.
Earlier, the ownership of the filling station was changed two and half years ago. In spite of several efforts to reach the present owner, he did not answer to the calls. Information about the previous owner could not be found as well.
The Present Chief Accountant of DNCC Nazrul Islam Azad said Amirul Islam, who was the Chief Accountant at the time, works no more at the DNCC. He served from 2012 to 2017.
“Acting Manager of Transport of DNCC Monowar Hossain has been appointed for investigating the allegation”, the CEO of the DNCC Md Abdul Hai said.
Monowar Hossain told the Business Standard he would submit the report to the CEO of DNCC after collecting all the required documents”.
In response to the question of how the DNCC purchased gas from the filling station that never sold CNG, Abdul Baset Sarkar, who was the transport manager during 2013-14 and presently the Store and Purchase Officer of the DNCC, replied he could not recall what happened at that time.
It is notable here that the filling station is almost 20km away from the DNCC Bhaban.
Despite many filling stations available within Dhaka North City, why the DNCC chose that filling station arises questions.
When asked about it Baset said, “I have to go through the documents of that time to find the reasons.”
The same question was asked to the present General Manager of transport Abdul Latif Khan who replied, “That filling station is not used any more by DNCC. We have brought transparency in the purchase process. There is no scope of making any disparity now.”
Raising bill with fake vouchers is contrary to the transparency. Mentioning the monetary loss, the ministry concerned has been informed about the discrepancy on August 28, 2015. Later, a reminder has been issued on 13/08/2015.
On September 20, 2015, the Ministry concerned requested the CEO of DNCC to submit a report to the Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh, containing the money recovered from the alleged persons.
However, no response was found.
At a final step, in spite of issuing a semi-government letter submitted to the Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives on 30/09/2015, no effective measures have been taken till date.