The Bangladesh government has launched a new effort to help turn around three old publicly owned companies after its previous efforts have mostly failed. All three enterprises, Karnaphuli Paper Mills Ltd (KPML), Chittagong Chemical Complex Ltd (CCCL), and Khulna Newsprint Mills Ltd (KNML), built in the Pakistan era, have caused government losses for decades, either through closure or lower production.
Consequently, Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), which owns and operates the factories, recently published three expressions of interest (EoI) notices, in which it sought proposals from international consulting firms for feasibility studies. The corporation intends to establish two integrated paper mills based on bamboo and pulpwood on the grounds of KMPL and KNML and a chemical complex on the grounds of CCCL, according to the notices.
However, experts expressed concerns about whether the initiative would succeed. They suggested that the government form a commission to reform public enterprises. Prof. Mostafizur Rahman, a distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, said the government should set up a public enterprise reform commission for troubled state-owned enterprises.