A week after the expiry of his tenure, former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf approved payment of Rs961 million to Midas Advertising Company against a dubious advertisement campaign of Ministry of Water and Power (MoW&P), Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) said.
TIP, a whistle-blower against corruption, drew the attention of the Supreme Court towards fresh development in a case that is already under hearing.
TIP said with reference to the requests made to the Supreme Court in the Human Rights Case No 23957/S/2012, another complaint is received , which pertains to illegal approval granted by former prime minister for release of Rs961 million to Midas Advertising Company a week after his tenure expired.
TIP claimed that the amount of Rs961 million, illegally approved by the ex-PM, is part of advertising contract worth Rs1.637 billion, which was awarded without inviting any tenders by PEPCO & NTDC, whose Chief Executive is Naveed Ismail, ex-CEO of KESC.
Ms Nargis Sethi, Secretary Ministry of Water & Power in early February 2013 refused to allow the payment as the Public Procurement Rules 2004 were violated by PEPCO and NTDC, as tenders were not invited, and also that the so called advertisement costs were not even included in the annual plans of PEPCO & NTDC, which information is mandatory to be posted on the Public Procurement Rules Authority (PPRA) website.
Naveed Ismail’s services have also been terminated by WAPDA on 25th March 2013, TIP said. His appointment as CEO GENCO on 17th February 2012, and as NTDC managing director and CEO of PEPCO was also illegal, due to the fact that in the WAPDA notification issued for his appointment, the terms and conditions of Ismail’s appointment including pay package and tenure of his contract were to be decided later on.
TIP pointed out Iskanadar Ahmed Rai took over as Secretary Ministry of Water and Power after removal of the dissident secretary Nargis Sethi.
Rai, immediately after assuming office, forwarded the summary on March 15, the second last day of the government, for payment to the advertising agency to the then prime minister for approval which was granted within no time.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2013.