The Cabinet body’s nod came from a meeting held with Finance Minister AMA Muhith.
The UK-based De La Rue International Ltd will supply the MRP booklets and other accessories at a contract value of US$ 32.99 million (Tk 267.56 crore).
The British firm’s offer was the first lowest while its Polish competitor PWPW offered US$ 36.99 million (Tk 300 crore) for the job.
Officials at the Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP) claimed that the existing MRP booklets have 32 special features while the new improved booklet will have some additional features that will intensify its security.
The new features of MRP booklets will include making the cover page with 350 micron paper instead of 290 micron, security fiber with pink colour instead of red, correct text of national anthem to replace incorrect one and improvement of picture of National Monument and Parliament through graphic design.
At present, a Malaysian firm IRIS Corporation Berhad JV has been supplying the MRP system along with booklets and other accessories. The existing booklets will be finished within next 4-5 months for which the DIP needs to appoint new supplier to continue its MRP project. However, the IRIS Corporation will continue to operate the MRP system as per its contract for next two years.
As part of global compliance of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Bangladesh introduced MRP in 2010 appointing IRIS Corporation Berhad JV. Initially, the firm was appointed for supply of MRP system, booklets and also machine readable visa (MRV).
Among others, the Cabinet body approved the Local Government Division proposal to appoint a consultant for feasibility study, design and construction supervision works of Madunaghat water treatment plant in Chittagong WASA at a cost of Tk 44.84 crore.
The committee gave nod to a Communications Ministry proposal to increase the cost of crack repair works of the Bangabandhu Jamuna Bridge to Tk 278.71 crore from its original cost of Tk 243 crore.
Another Communications Ministry proposal to enhance the Padma Bridge’s detailed design consultant’s contract value by US$ 1.962 million to US$ 25.858 million also received the cabinet body nod. This is the second extension of the contract vale of the consultant, New Zealand-based Maunsell Ltd AECOM.
The New Zealand firm was appointed by the Bridge Division in 2009 to draw a detailed design of the proposed Padma Bridge within 22 months at an original contract value of US$ 16.579 million. But the cost was increased by US$ 7.146 million after doing some 23 additional technical studies and survey as per suggestion of donor agencies.
A Power Division’s proposal to change the site of a gas-fired 150-225 MW independent power producer (IPP) project from Bhola to Sirajganj received the nod of the Cabinet Purchase committee.
The Health and Family Planning Ministry’s proposal for awarding contract for supply of 60,000 boxes of DDS kits by three pharmaceutical companies received the nod of the Cabinet body. Essential Drugs, General Pharmaceuticals and Acme Ltd will supply the kits at a cost of Tk 65.50 crore in total five lots.
The other proposals, approved by the committee, include cost increase of a bridge construction over the Balu River under the Purbachal Satellite City project, purchase of a vessel for fisheries research and survey, increase of contract value of consultant under Feasibility Study and Detailed Engineering for Ganges Barrage project.