NAB asked to probe Quetta utility chief

Pepco chief writes to bureau to probe QESCO CEO’s complicity


Zafar Bhutta January 22, 2018
PHOTO: NAB

ISLAMABAD: The case of a newly appointed member of the National Electric Regulatory Authority (Nepra), who has been facing corruption charges of power theft worth over Rs20.9 million, has been sent to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The Pakistan Electric Power Company Limited (Pepco) has referred the case of corruption in power theft worth over Rs20.9 million against Quetta Electric Company (Qesco) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rehamatullah Baloch for appropriate action over his failure to take action against subordinates in illegal power supply to a steel mill.

Balochistan had recommended Baloch as member power regulator and the federal cabinet had recently approved his appointment as the new member to represent Balochistan.

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He is still serving as Qesco CEO and has not been relieved to join Nepra as its member.

However, now he is facing corruption charges for failing to take action against officials of Qesco who were involved in omission and commission.

Documents available with The Express Tribune revealed that the Pepco managing director had written a letter to NAB Quetta to take action against the CEO for his alleged involvement in multimillion rupees power theft.

In a letter sent to NAB, Pepco chief said that a raid was conducted and theft of 733,115 units of electricity worth Rs20.9 million was established in Spezand Sub Division, Saryab division under Qesco.

Out of total money, an amount of Rs10.6 million had been estimated as government taxes.

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It was further informed that explanation letters were also sent to Qesco CEO Rehmatullah Baloch and his subordinates in this regard.

NAB was informed that CEO Rehamatullah Baloch, Baz Muhammad (manager, operation), Syed Abdul Nazir (owner of the Alnasir Agriculture (steel mill) Foundry Works) and Muhammad Lal, son of Jalad Khan, (tenant) were involved in the electricity theft.

Meanwhile, in an explanation letter to the CEO and other officers concerned of Qesco, the Pepco chief said they had failed to exercise their powers which led to the illegal abstraction of electricity in Qesco.

He said that they were guilty of laxity over subordinates that facilitated and encouraged the commission of misconduct and involvement in power theft.

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In a letter addressed to CEO Qesco, the Pepco head said that he had failed to undertake post-event actions against subordinates responsible for this illegal abstraction to the extent that Pepco management had to intervene.

The Pepco management said that lapse on the part of his subordinates that led the consumer to carry on illegal abstraction of energy was so basic and simple in nature that either he was in partnership with them or totally incompetent to function as CEO of a distribution company, reflecting dishonesty to professional obligations.

The Qesco CEO could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.

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