• Thursday, April 17, 2014

Magic lamp for Bipu

His annual income rises five times in 5 years

Staff Correspondent

Nasrul Hamid Bipu, an Awami League lawmaker and a businessman, wielded a magic wand between 2008 and 2013. He doubled his assets and increased annual income by over five times.
Bipu and his family's assets jumped to over Tk 19 crore in 2013 from Tk 8.78 crore five years ago, according to the wealth statements he had submitted to the Election Commission before the 2008 polls and this month.
Of this, the lawmaker owns nearly over Tk 13 crore worth of assets, his son Tk 5.15 crore and his wife about Tk 1.03 crore. No assets were shown in Bipu's son's name in 2008.
The lawmaker now has a whooping Tk 1.84 crore in fixed deposit and in 2008 he only had Tk 1.5 lakh.
Bipu and his family have four flats (one partially owned) at Paribagh, Banani and Baridhara, which are considered posh areas of the capital. He, however, valued the flats at Tk 82.65 lakh in total.
He also has over 3,000 decimals of arable land, mostly in Keraniganj upazila on the outskirts of the capital and claimed that those were worth Tk 5.11 crore.
The lawmaker's annual income has also soared by nearly five and a half times to Tk 1.10 crore in 2013 from only Tk 21.6 lakh five years ago.
He has earned Tk 42.66 lakh from     his business this year. He did not       show any income from any business in 2008.
He earns another Tk 20.70 lakh a year from his investments in shares, savings certificate and bank deposits. He did not have this income five years ago.
As the managing director of three  companies, Bipu has earned Tk 24 lakh a year in remuneration and over Tk 13.57 lakh a year as the MP of Dhaka-3 constituency.
His income from renting out space (houses, flats, shops and others) also rose three fold to Tk 9 lakh a year now.
Annual income of his dependents has also increased by over five times to Tk 27 lakh from Tk 5 lakh in 2008.
The Daily Star contacted him on Tuesday and asked how his income from business rose to nearly Tk 43 lakh a year in 2013 from nothing five years ago and whether he meant wife only or wife and children as dependents in his statement to the EC.
Bipu was infuriated and said he would answer no questions.
“I am a businessman for over 20 years and the current president of the Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh [REHAB]. I can earn but who are you to question me,” said the lawmaker.
Bipu became news headlines following allegations of land grabbing during the tenure of the Awami League-led government. A number of REHAB members told The Daily Star that Bipu, despite being the president of the association, was hardly ever present in programmes of REHAB.
Bipu is the chairman of Hamid Group, a family-owned business that has footholds in property development, construction and infrastructure, specialised project management, apparel manufacturing and retail.
According to the group's website, their first company was founded in 1958 and has several companies now.
Yet Bipu had shown he had no income from business while submitting his wealth statement in 2008.
Hamid Construction, a concern of the group, is currently managing a high value portfolio of large private and public sector projects, the largest of which is a $30 million (nearly Tk 240 crore) government contract for the construction of a 1,600-unit residential complex.
Delco Business Associate, another company of Hamid Group, has been awarded contracts by the government to supply and install    seating as well as ground equipment for the cricket stadium in Sylhet, which is supposed to be one of the venues for the ICC T20 World Cup 2014.
Still the lawmaker is in heavy debt. He borrowed Tk 1 crore from his brother and Tk 20 lakh from his uncle. He took loans of over Tk 24 lakh against his FDR in a bank and nearly Tk 53 lakh from a merchant bank (against his capital market investment).
He has shown Tk 1.87 crore in liabilities as he took the money in advance from a leading property development company for selling it some of his land. He had taken out Tk 2.37 crore in advance in 2008 from the same company for the same reason.
A senior income tax official told The Daily Star that Bipu could show the advance money as liabilities for six years as per income tax laws. However, after six years the money would be considered as income.


Published: 12:00 am Friday, December 27, 2013

Last modified: 9:32 pm Friday, December 27, 2013

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