bdpress agency: Much undue dawdling and many delays later, BRTA has thrown caution to the winds and resolved to choose, for its driving license project, a company mired in numerous controversies.
Madras Security Printers Private Ltd., has gained much global infamy with its evidenced involvement in money laundering scandals, and it has even been blacklisted in its home country, India. Countries such as Kenya, Sri Lanka, our own Bangladesh, and even India, on
many previous occasions, have made allegations of corruption against Madras Security Printers Private Ltd.
The company began operations in Bangladesh in 2015 through the distribution of immigration cards for BMET. However, MSP failed to deliver the requisite number of merely five lakh cards leading BMET to issue the cards using their own finances.
BRTA’s driving license project has lain in wait to be launched for one and a half years and more, in the face of immense public demand for driving licenses, as the country saw a rise in the number of vehicle owners, drivers, and ride-sharing users. The significance of the project is, hence, paramount for our national interest, and so necessitates that this be managed with precision and great urgency. Therefore, to determine to hand over this project to a company that not only has claims of corruptions staked against it by its home country and others, but has also failed to deliver in a prior project in Bangladesh itself, is a foolhardy act that can be committed by only BRTA.
MSP’s history is rife with criticism and controversy. In the fiscal year 2011-2012, at home, in India, MSP was banned by the Unique Identification Authority of India and subsequently prohibited them from all kinds of enrolment projects. The ban was issued to MSP against an allegation of its having contrived to sell Aadhaar data to another private company. This act of MSP’s would have been in direct violation of, and would correspond to the smuggling of crucial information of not just the state, but of the individual as well.
By showing itself capable of scheming to pass on data of its own country to others, MSP has made its unreliability apparent, and has proven its past infamous records to be justified. Therefore, the repercussions of entrusting MSP with sensitive national data can safely be
assumed to be gravely injurious to our national security.
The Indian government recommended a formal investigation against the concerned department with the accuracy of these allegations being confirmed by the inquiry committee. As a result, Madras Security Printers received a lifetime ban from the Aadhaar project. MSP has also been accused of siphoning and smuggling information of prominent personalities such as Indian cricketer, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Therefore, our country stands at the risk of handing over sensitive information to a corrupt company.
The Indian government’s claims of MSP’s corrupt nature are corroborated by others, too. The Sri Lankan government also planned to initiate a project against MSP in a bid to stop the illicit sale of alcohol through a tender; however MSP resorted to take shelter behind corruption. The concerned authorities were later forced to cancel this tender and re-issue it after sufficient evidence was gathered. These are not the only allegations against MSP. There are numerous charges against them and their projects, one of the most notable being their Unified Multipurpose Identification Card for the Indian Social Security System.
In 2018, MSP uncovered an even bigger corruption scandal in Kenya which led the local court to sanction the arrest of nine directors which included a local partner. This criminal case is still ongoing and the accused will not be granted any business opportunities in Kenya. They have also been indicted for another case in Kenya which is widely known as the ‘Cabs Fertiliser’ case.
In the case of the driving license project, MSP has stolen in by leveraging their familiar correspondence with certain officials from BRTA and the Ministry of Communications. Through its design, MSP was able to have all previous tenders cancelled and, subsequently, become the lowest bidders in the process. More qualified bidders have created a pact and have lodged a written complaint against MSP. They have demanded that a proper investigation take place in accordance with the prevailing laws of Bangladesh and the rules of the tendering process.
Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that Madras Security Printers have zero prior experience in Bangladesh Driving License specifications and have fixed the tender price at 37% less than the estimate. MSP had submitted a tender offer of USD 1, 63, 17,500 on June 10, 2019 which meant that the price of each card is an estimated USD 4.67. Their current bid sits at USD 1, 41, 56,806,
which has drastically reduced the price of each card to USD 3.53. These suspiciously low prices have raised a lot of eyebrows.
This is also a clear sign of their inexperience in this field.