The Department of Narcotics Control has proposed a study tour of Singapore and Colombia to obtain knowledge of dope testing for identifying drug abusers during public recruitments.

The department under the ministry of home affairs has also proposed local-level training under the project, scheduled to be implemented from January 2020 to December 2022, at a cost of Tk 62.82 crore.

Officials said that the study groups would comprise officials from the ministry of home affairs and the Department of Narcotics Control.

The overseas study tours along with local training, at a cost of Tk 1.4 crore to be taken from the block allocation, have been proposed against the backdrop of widespread criticisms that unnecessary foreign training and purchasing goods at excessive prices became common in public projects.

Officials said that the ministry of planning already raised objection to the training programme and many other components of the project.

Member Abul Kalam Azad of the Socio-Economic Infrastructure Division of the planning ministry on  Monday told New Age that they had already held a number of meetings to evaluate the proposed project.

The last one was held on Sunday, he said, adding that they would submit the project before the executive committee of the National Economic Council only after satisfactory replies against the objections.

The planning ministry officials said that the projected cost of Tk 3.5 crore for a database under the project also seemed high when the national data centre, run by the Bangladesh Computer Council, could be used for the purpose.

They said that the narcotics control department would also have to rationalise the prices of equipment under the project with respect to both international and local markers.

Department director Md Azizul Islam on Monday said that they were consulting planning commission officials in finalising the project proposal.

Narcotics department officials said that they undertook the project to conduct dope test on the entrants to the public jobs as per a directive issued in September of 2018 by the ministry of public administration.

They pointed out that the proposed study tours would be helpful in developing experts in the government department.

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