BAEC contradicts reports on RNPP project staff salaries

Says nothing about irregularities in procurement for the plant

21 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) has contradicted reports published in different newspapers on the salaries of the staff of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) project, reports UNB.

It, however, did not say anything about alleged irregularities in procuring various items like pillows and furniture for the project officials and employees which has gone viral on social media.

A statement signed by BAEC Chairman Mahbubul Hoq on Monday said reports, opinions and comments related to the salaries of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant and its implementing agency Nuclear Power Plant Company Bangladesh Limited (NPCBL) are based on speculations and imaginary information.

It also said it might create confusions in people's minds denting the image of the country's biggest hi-tech and sensitive project.

BAEC said all the staff engaged in the RNPP construction project are the regular staff of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission and they were only attached to the project.

They draw the salaries and allowances from the BAEC as per the pay scale fixed by the government, it added.

It said the NPCBL staff's salary structure has been fixed by the board of the company in line with the salary structure of other similar public companies.

"Neither the project director nor deputy project director of the RNPP project receives any salary or allowance from the project. They're the regular staff of the BAEC and draw salaries and allowances from the commission as per the fixed pay scale," the statement said.

The project director simultaneously serves as the managing director of the company, but he does not draw any salary or allowance from the company. Besides, there is no scope of receiving salary and allowance from more than one organisation, it added.

The BAEC said no driver or cook has so far been appointed to the company. "So, the question of their salaries and allowances is illogical. But if drivers and cooks are appointed in the future, their monthly salaries, including allowances, will be Tk 24,400."

It said the drivers and cooks working in the project are under muster-roll and on daily basis, and each of them draws a maximum of Tk 15,500 a month. "So, the information published regarding salary and allowances of the project and company staff is simply imaginary and an attempt to tarnish the image of the project."

The BAEC expressed its hope that following the explanation, it will dispel all the confusions regarding the salaries and allowances of the staff of the company and project.

The statement, however, did not mention anything about the alleged irregularities in purchasing furniture and other household items for the officials and employees of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.

According to reports published on different newspapers, excess money was spent on buying furniture, pillows and other items for Green City Housing Palli where officials and employees of Rooppur Power Plant will reside.

A pillow costs around Tk 6,000 while lifting a kettle to the building cost Tk 3,000.

The Housing and Public Works Ministry has formed two probe panels to look into the irregularities.

Meanwhile, the High Court on Monday sought the reports of the two investigation committees.

Passing the order, the HC bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Shohrowardi adjourned the hearing on a writ petition in this regard.

Advocate Sayedul Haque Suman filed the writ petition on Sunday seeking judicial inquiry into reported corruption in purchasing furniture and other household products for officials and employees of the power plant.

During the hearing, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam informed the court that the ministry has formed two committees to probe the alleged irregularities and the probe panels will submit their report in seven days. "Let the reports come first and you can take any decision," he told the court, urging it to adjourn the hearing till then.