JS body moves to probe anomalies | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 02, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 02, 2010

Textbook Printing, Paper Supply

JS body moves to probe anomalies

A parliamentary body yesterday formed a sub-committee to investigate alleged irregularities in awarding work orders for printing next year's primary and secondary school textbooks and supply of paper for textbooks.
The parliamentary standing committee on education ministry that formed the sub-committee also alleged that the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) set a low-quality paper as sample based on which bidders were given work orders.
The three-member sub-committee led by Whip Shaikh Abdul Wohab was asked to come up with the probe report in the next 15 days.
NCTB was set to print around 23 crore textbooks. Around 41,176 tonnes of paper will be needed to print those books, an official at the NCTB told The Daily Star.
A number of lawmakers of the parliamentary committee, especially Whip Mirza Azam, engaged in a heated debate with the education ministry secretary and chairman of NCTB, meeting sources told The Daily Star.
The debate prompted chief of the committee Rashed Khan Menon to form the sub-committee.
Menon, also president of Bangladesh Workers Party, told reporters afterwards that he had allegations that NCTB set low-quality paper as standard for supplying and printing textbooks by selected bidders.
Talking to The Daily Star over telephone last night, Menon also said the committee asked the sub-committee to enquire irregularities in awarding bidders with work orders for supplying the paper.
He alleged that selected bidders supplied low-quality Indian paper.
Education secretary and NCTB chairman tried to respond to the allegations brought by Azam and other lawmakers but they were not satisfied with the replies, meeting sources told The Daily Star.
Azam engaged in the heated argument with the two saying what they had done was not "proper". He spoke in a loud voice but the committee chief tried to ease the situation, the sources said.
Sources said the NCTB so far awarded work orders to six consortiums (comprising 14 companies) to supply 14,000 tonnes of paper and a re-tender was floated for the supply of around 9,400 tonnes of paper and book-cover paper.
The NCTB also floated an international tender for printing a large chunk of the 23 crore textbooks.

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