Bangladesh Government may bow to ADB for access to loan: Job cut likely at state enterprise

Asif Showkat, NewAge, May 20, 2008. Dhaka, Bangladesh

The government may retrench more than 550 workers at the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation to get access to the lending by the Asian Development Bank, said sources in the industries ministry.
   

The Manila-based lending agency has suggested that the corporation should bring down the size of its manpower to 1,662 from 2,029 as permissible in the organogram under the small and medium enterprise sector development programme.
   

The industries ministry, which regulates the corporation, has accordingly submitted a proposal with a new organogram to the establishment ministry. A letter in this regard has also been sent to the ADB country director Hua Du.
   

‘The Asian Development Bank will not release the money under the enterprise development programme unless the condition of BSCIC manpower rationalisation is fulfilled,’ a high corporation official told New Age on Sunday. The ADB contribution to the Tk 31.50-crore programme is Tk 28.63 crore.
   

The official further said the ADB suggestions were more applicable to the SME Foundation which will result in job cut at the BSCIC.
   In line with the ADB conditions, the SME Foundation is expected to appoint a new managing director by May 31.
   

The industries ministry letter to the Asian Development Bank said the corporation had ‘reconstructed the organogram as part of overall human resources restructuring by rationalising the total personnel strength to 1,662 [285 staff at the head office and 1,377 in field offices].’
   

The corporation chairman, Mohammad Mohbubur Rahman, said they had submitted the proposal for human resources ‘rationalisation’ to the establishment ministry.
   

Adding that the move is in the preliminary stages, he said a number of meetings would be held before making the final decision on the manpower rationalisation, which is a part of the government’s restructuring plan for corporations. The BSCIC chairman, however, said he was not aware of the ADB conditions in this regard.
   

The small and medium enterprise sector development programme was undertaken in 2005 and it is scheduled to be completed by this December.

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