The Department of Narcotics Control has proposed to purchase a luxury car and a motorbike at a staggering Tk 7.7 million out of a Tk 1.13 billion project.
Narcotics department is going to construct seven office buildings at seven district towns across the country, officials said on Saturday.
It will buy a luxury car at Tk 7.5 million and a motorcycle at Tk 0.2 million for the project to be borne from the taxpayer's money.
The department has also proposed to spend Tk 7.0 million for foreign training and study tour, according to the officials.
Home ministry has recently sought approval for the project from the Planning Commission (PC).
"The narcotics department has no office buildings of its own in district towns. Their official work is done in rented space," said a home ministry official.
"So, it has decided to construct seven building at its first phase," he told the FE.
The official said since the department needs to keep some confidential documents and evidence of cases, its own office buildings are imperative.
When asked, a senior PC official bitterly regretted a government agency proposing to buy autos for an office building project with the taxpayer's money.
If this happens, how the key ongoing development work will get adequate funds for their completion, he said.
"Should the government allow such inessential luxuries for such a small project? What is the use of luxury cars in the office building project?" he asked.
As proposed, the project will spend 66.5 per cent of Tk 1.13 billion on building seven offices at seven districts and 10.5 per cent for land acquisition. The remaining 23 per cent of the money will be spent on car purchase, foreign training, honoraria, fuel for vehicles, furniture and computer purchase.
Economist Prof Dr MA Taslim urged the government to keep a tight rein on spending public money and curb its wastage amid lower tax collection in the current fiscal.
"As tax collection has so far fallen short of target, the government shouldn't be ambitious on public spending," he said.
"It should offer funds for the projects which will have more returns than investments," he told the FE.
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