June 19, 2005


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The Daily Star reports:

State Minister for Energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain yesterday resigned over the Tk 1 crore Lexus scam after the prime minister asked him to stand down.

He claimed that he did not commit any crime in using the car which is a property of Bangladesh Petrolium Corporation (By default the assets of all the foreign company exploring oil/gas in Bangladesh under production sharing agreement are owned by the govt) belonging to his ministry. But the media continued to raise their voices against the benefits Niko has been receiving from his ministry.

The charges against him include:

* He steered the handing over of two gas fields with gases worth $6.3 billion to Niko by the government declaring them abandoned.

* An accident happened in one gasfield (Tengra Tila) in which there was much environmental damge. Niko's faulty drilling was alleged as the cause but the government failed to take any legal action against the company asking for compensation.

* Niko started supplying gas to Petrobangla from its Feni field for 8 months without fixing a price, thanks to Mosharraf's relentless pressure on Petrobangla. Niko is asking $25 per thousand cft whereas Petrobangla is offering the standard $2.10.

Read the article for details.

Its good that the government has salvaged some of its image by taking him out of the scene promptly. Will their be any graft case against him? What will happen to the other big fishes like him? Will they continue to plunder the country and get away easily?


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