–LNG contract to ETPL caused 200 billion rupees loss: NAB report
ISLAMABAD: It has been more than two years, however, the inquiry regarding the award of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) contract and billion rupees payment to the Elengy Terminal Pvt. Ltd (ETPL) is still in the doldrums. The contract was allegedly signed in the violation of rules, causing a huge loss to the national exchequer.
A copy of NAB inquiry report available with Pakistan Today revealed that Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi, former Petroleum Secretary Abid Saeed, Inter-State Gas Systems Pvt Ltd (ISGS) Managing Director Mobin Saulut, Sui Southern Gas Company Limited former MD Zuhair Ahmed Siddiqui, and Engro Pvt Ltd CEO Emranul Haq were involved in the award of the LNG contract.
Misuse of authority in awarding LNG terminal by violating the Pakistan Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Rules, and billions rupees payment to the ETPL for LNG gasification is estimated to cause a loss of $ 2 billion (approximately) in 15 years, said the NAB report.
The NAB report revealed that Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi has played a significant role in the award of the tender to the ETPL and also in the execution of tender through the ISGS, instead of state-owned gas utilities. “Active role of the minister in the execution of tender through ISGS, instead of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) or Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) has been identified,” the report reads.
Similarly, Abid Saeed played a vital role in the award of tender. He chaired all the meetings of the ISGS through ETPL, announced as a qualifier. Moreover, Mobin Sulat played a key role not only in the award of tender but he also floated the LNG tender without considering/involving SSGCL or SNGPL.
He also played a vital role in changing the integrated tender into tolling tender; issued tender without the approval of ISGS Board or SSGCL Board and announced the ETPL as a qualifier on draft and unsigned “Technical Evaluation Report” of the QED.
The inquiry report also stated that Emranul Haq while being chief executive officer of ETPL has also played a crucial role. “All correspondence with ISGS, SSGCL and others are made with his signatures. He is also one of the signatories of the LSA on behalf of ETPL,” said the report.
Furthermore, the report has stated that Zuhair Ahmed Siddiqui has been found attending all Board meetings of the ISGS held during October to December 2013. He also executed and attended Board meetings of the SSGCL held during September 2013 to April 2014. He is also one of the signatories of LSA on behalf of the SSGCL.
NAB inquiry report has further pointed out that though SSGCL was not a procuring agency, however, it has signed LSA with ETPL as an operator. Similarly, there was no signing between SSGCL and SNGPL which authorised the SSGCL to act on the behalf of the SNGPL.
More, the SSGCL paid around Rs 4 billion in approximately 130 days to the ETPL against the capital investment of 12 or 13 billion only. “At this rate, the capital investment of ETPL shall be recovered in 14 months and rest 13 years will the profit of ETPL. This aspect is further requested to be investigated in details,” NAB report said.
It is to note here that NAB investigation officer who conducted the inquiry into the award of LNG contract to ETPL and billion rupees payment by SSGCL to the ETPL has submitted an interim report to the NAB headquarters. The report recommended formal inquiry. But still, the names of the alleged accused involved in the mega corruption scandal have not been placed on Exit Control List (ECL) and are under process, even though NAB authorised inquiry on July 29, 2015.
Shahid Sattar, an energy expert, earlier filed a complaint with NAB against the management of SSGC, Engro and others regarding LNG contracts. It has been alleged that tender for the award of LNG import & distribution work has been illegally awarded to ETPL. From 2013 till date the offence is being committed, said the report.
On finding the complaint, NAB initiated the inquiry on July 29, 2015, against the management of SSGC, ENGRO and others regarding the award of LNG contracts in 2013 to ETPL and others. NAB director general (Karachi) authorised an investigation into the matter. The gist of allegations/offences committed by accused was that they had caused loss to the national exchequer by extending favour in the tender of LNG terminal and payment against LNG gasification.
It is worth mentioning here that still no concrete action by NAB against the influential accused involved in this mega corruption scandal has been taken. And, it is feared that NAB has put the inquiry report on the back burner due to the alleged involvement of petroleum minister, secretary petroleum and others.
When Pakistan Today contacted NAB, the spokesperson said, “Sir, I have forwarded the query to the concerned Wing of NAB for their comments. As soon as the comments are received, I will forward you after approval of the competent authority.”