Nandipur power project: NAB to take action against those responsible for delay

Project cost more than doubled after delay of two and a half years.


Zafar Bhutta November 08, 2013
Until now, 60% work on the project has been completed. The Chinese contractor, who had stayed away during the tenure of the previous government, has now returned to resume work. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:


The government has sent a case relating to the 425-megawatt Nandipur power project to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for action against former officials of the Law Division, who it says have caused a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer because of undue delay in processing the project.


According to officials, the Ministry of Water and Power has taken the case to NAB, asking it to initiate steps in light of findings of a judicial commission. The commission held responsible officials of the law ministry, who were serving during the tenure of the previous government, for delay in issuing sovereign guarantees for the power project.



The delay in sovereign guarantees has sent the project cost soaring as it now stands at Rs57 billion compared to an initial estimate of Rs22 billion.

According to the water and power ministry, an agreement for the project was signed in January 2008 and the Law and Justice Division was approached in January 2009 for its legal opinion on the provision of government guarantees. Unfortunately, the Law Division delayed its response for two years and eight months until October 2011, leading to cost and time overrun.

“Until now, 60% work on the project has been completed. The Chinese contractor, who had stayed away during the tenure of the previous government, has now returned to resume work,” an official said.

Babar Awan, who was the law minister when the delay was caused but still no sovereign guarantees were issued, and then law secretary Justice (R) Riaz Kayani had personally appeared before a Supreme Court bench in connection with the case.

Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif had filed a petition in the apex court, seeking action against officials of the Law Division for what he called a “criminal” delay. During proceedings of the case, Asif argued that the people responsible should be pinned down and punished.

“Now, the water and power ministry has decided to take the case to NAB to fix responsibility and take action against those involved,” the official said.

According to revised estimates, the power project will cost Rs57.38 billion, of which Rs14.73 billion has been utilised by Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) from its own resources and the remaining Rs42.64 billion will be provided through a debt arrangement.

A syndicate of domestic banks has already committed Rs19.15 billion in financing, for which the Economic Coordination Committee has approved issuance of government guarantees.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 9th, 2013.

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COMMENTS (3)

Saleem | 8 years ago | Reply

Let there be an independent investigations and those who are found guilty must be given exemplery punishments so that be a lesson for others to avoid criminal negligence due to political pressure, etc.

Hamza | 8 years ago | Reply

@Jibran: Current government officials have nothing to do with delays in Nandipur Project.

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