The government is mulling over a plan to export arms and ammunitions abroad after fulfilling the domestic requirement.
“It is now under process. After fulfilling requirements of all forces arms would be exported,” Commandant of Bangladesh Ordnance Factories Major General Anwarul Momen told the Dhaka Tribune over cell phone recently.
The BOF commandant also said: “We have to set up separate production line.”
The home ministry, the commerce ministry, law ministry and foreign ministry along with other ministries are involved in the process, he added.
Anwarul Momen, however, did not specify what kind of arms would be exported.
The government is willing to export arms and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has in principal given approval to go ahead with the plan, said a source in the government.
The Bangladesh Ordnance Factories located in Gajipur produces arms. Following a request from the Arms Forces Division, the home ministry on March 10 issued a letter of no objection so that security is ensured while arms are carried for exporting purpose.
The Dhaka Tribune obtained a copy of the letter which was also sent to the IGP, secretary to the commerce ministry, Chairman to the NBR, DG to the DGFI, NSI, SSF, the additional IGP of Special Branch, Commissioner of Customs House And director of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
Joint Secretary of the Home Ministry AK Mafizul Haq (political-4) signed the letter. But while talking to this correspondent on Tuesday he denied that he knew anything about it.
“I have heard the news of exporting arms and ammunition. It is now under scrutiny,” State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan told the Dhaka Tribune over phone on Tuesday.
The junior minister also said: “It is not a matter of the home ministry.” About the letter of no objection he said: “It may have been done before I took the office”.
The Bangladesh Ordnance Factories was established in 1968 with the technical and financial assistance of Peoples Republic of China. It was inaugurated on 06 April 1970.
In 1982-1983 BMR (Balancing, Modernization, Replacement) works started in the factory which was completed in 1987.
The project on establishment of Automatic Assault Rifle BD-08 factory was undertaken in 2004-2005 and it was successfully implemented in the year 2008.
As a part of modernization and expansion of small arms ammunition production a new project called CB-10 Project was successfully implemented in 2012.