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BUTEX protests corruption allegation raised by Channel i

Recently Channel i broadcasted a series report entitled ‘Corruption in Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX)’ brought a wave of debate in the country. The series reports claimed discrepancies in the bill of the Vice Chancellor (VC)’s chair, a part of the pump and spending money for re-repairing VC’s residence which was recently repaired.

However, the university authority claimed the news was wrongly present and deliberately instigated to defame the institution. The authority sent a letter to the channel protesting and clarifying all the claims.

BUTEX protests corruption allegation
Figure: The university authority claimed the news as wrong and deliberately instigated to defame the institution.

Channel i claimed that there are some corruptions going on in BUTEX. According to the news, the revolving chair of the Vice-Chancellor was bought by vouchering it thrice and a handsome amount of 2,45,000/- (two lakhs forty-five thousand taka) was used for the expenditure.

By further investigation, they dug out a bill which showed that the amount of the chair was 75,000/- (seventy-five thousand taka). They claimed there was another bill of 75,000/-   (seventy-five thousand taka) placed for the same issue. Then another bill of 95,000/- (ninety-five thousand taka) was again placed for the same chair.

They also said that there were some discrepancies in the price of a pump’s parts. The report depicted that 1,50,000/- (one lakh fifty thousand taka) was billed for the pump’s parts which was also much greater than the actual market price.

The Channel i report claimed that the VC’s residence was re-repaired using 15,00,000 (fifteen lakh taka) and two of the rooms of the BUTEX main building were repaired using 7,27,054/- (seven lakhs twenty-seven thousand fifty-four taka). This year, there were many projects like that which summed up to several crores. They said the institution also faced some audit objections.

While Textile Today contacted Dr. Abul Kashem, VC, BUTEX for their explanation on mentioned issues he informed that already BUTEX sent an explanation to the Education Ministry.

As a reply to this report, the BUTEX authority took its stance by sending a letter to the Director of Channel i on 30 October. They said the report defamed all the teachers, staff and students by their derogatory information. This incidence has also humiliated the Education Ministry and the government of Bangladesh.

In the letter BUTEX authority clarified all the issues claimed as corruption:

The chair issue: To clarify the chair issue, the authority said that the truth is Fazlul Haque, the Executive Engineer of BUTEX raised money from the account’s office. The amount was 76,000/- (seventy-six thousand taka). He then bought the chair using 75,000/- (seventy-five thousand taka). The claim of three vouchers issued for a single chair and the ridiculous amount of 2,45,000/- (two lakhs forty-five thousand taka) was totally absurd news.

The pump issue: The truth is, a new pump set of 87,048/- (eighty-seven thousand and forty-eight taka) was bought. The claim of 1, 50,000/- (one lakh fifty thousand taka) for pump parts was wrong and untruthful.

The VC’s residence issue: The building built in 1983 is still being used as the residence of the Vice Chancellors. The former VC Dr. Mashud Ahmed repaired the building four years back and started living there.

When Dr. Abul Kashem, the recent VC took his responsibility, the Engineering Department of the university inspected the building and created a plan of repairing 10,33,000/- (ten lakhs thirty-three thousand taka) according to the PWD rate schedule. Then by an open tender, the project was sanctioned to the least amount claimer (9,33,000/-, nine lakhs thirty-one thousand taka). The claim of 15,00,000/- (fifteen lakh taka) for repairing the VC’s residence was wrong.

The room repairing issue: In response to the applications of the two respected Deans of the university, two rooms of the main building were repaired. Those rooms were built in 1960. In response to the applications, the Engineering Department planned a 7,66,000/- (seven lakhs sixty-six thousand taka) project according to the PWD rate.

After an open tender, the least amount claimer (7,27,054/-, seven lakhs twenty-seven thousand and fifty-four taka) was given the order. The Engineering Department gave a positive report after the repairing was done. So, the claimed corruption was not clear to the university authority.

About the audit objection: There are no audit objections for all of the infrastructure work and buying. So, all the claims about audit objection are totally wrong and intentional.

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