The state-run Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has paid around Tk 90 billion of its 'idle money' to the government exchequer over the past one year since March last year.
The BPC paid Tk 50 billion in the last fiscal year (FY) 2019-2020 and the remaining Tk 40 billion in the current FY 2020-21 until March 2021, BPC chairman Md Abu Bakr Siddique told the FE.
"We will have to pay Tk 10 billion more to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) by June this year," he said.
The MoF took the money from the BPC in line with a new regulation to utilise surplus money of the state entities for bankrolling the ongoing development programmes, said a senior official of the MoF.
The BPC paid the money to the MoF by several instalments, each having Tk 10 billion.
The surplus money paid by the BPC was in addition to value added tax (VAT) and other different taxes being paid by the corporation to the government exchequer against its import of petroleum products and selling it to local market, said sources.
They said the government enacted a regulation, 'The disposition of surplus money of self-governed agencies including autonomous, semi-autonomous and statutory government authorities and public non-financial corporations to the national exchequer bill 2019' to utilise the 'idle money' with different state-run entities.
The government subsequently issued a gazette notification last year, directing the self-governed agencies, including autonomous, semi-autonomous and statutory government authorities as well as public non-financial corporations, to deposit their surplus funds to the public exchequer.
The state-run entities have to deposit surplus funds after setting aside their operating cost, additional 25 per cent of the operating cost as emergency fund, and money for general provident funds and pension, as per the instructions.
The government is allowing the entities to keep funds for implementing self-financed projects, and to estimate their own operating cost, said a source in the MoF.
The MoF started taking funds from different state-run entities under this regulation since March 2020 when the coronavirus started spreading across the country as well as the world.
The corporation is the sole importer of petroleum products in the country, except high sulphur fuel oil, and usually imports around 6.5 million tonnes of oil annually, including 1.4 million tonnes of crude oil.
BPC currently imports petroleum products from around a dozen global suppliers including Saudi Arabian Oil Company, or Saudi Aramco, ADNOC, PETCO Trading Labuan Company Limited (PTLCL), Emirates National Oil Company (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (ENOC), Petrochina (Singapore) Pte. Ltd, PT. Bumi Siak Pusako (BSP), Unipec Singapore Pte Ltd. PTT International Trading Pte, Numaligar Refinery Limited (NRL)
It also imports around half of the total required refined petroleum products through tendering.