–NAB interim report says delay occurred due to rift between federal ministries of law, power
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday informed the apex court that the national kitty suffered a loss of Rs27 billion in the Nandipur power project due to the delay caused by the federal law ministry during 2009.
According to details, an interim investigation report submitted by the anti-graft body in the Supreme Court (SC) stated that the delay in providing a legal opinion on the matter resulted in the loss to the national exchequer. Despite requests made by the ministry of water and power, the law ministry failed to fulfil its responsibility and the project was delayed due to a rift between both federal ministries, it added.
Babar Awan, who is currently affiliated with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was the law minister at that time in the PPP-led government and the petition against the delay was filed by former foreign minister Khawaja Asif in 2011.
The report further said that it was found, during the investigation, that the officials of the law ministry failed to exercise their authority lawfully and committed corruption offences under NAB’s laws.
The anti-graft body added that it possesses all relevant record from both ministries and the statements of the accused and witnesses are being recorded.
Nandipur corruption case was reopened by the Supreme Court in August as a bench took up the 2011 petition of the PML-N leader Khawaja Asif alleging corruption in the construction of 525-megawatt combined cycle power plant at Nandipur in Gujranwala.
In June, vowing to expose the alleged ‘fraud’ in the project, the SC directed NAB to expedite its investigation of alleged corruption in Nandipur power project. “Why Nandipur power plant is still not complete?” Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar questioned while heading a three-judge bench earlier. “We want to see the fraud that took place in this project,” he added
He also said a report prepared by Justice (r) Rehmat Hussain Jafri regarding the project is available to the court and the bench will look into allegations of corruption.
In 2013, the apex court on Asif’s petition appointed a one-man commission of Justice (r) Rehmat Hussain Jafri on the Nandipur project. In its 94-page report, the commission concluded that the national exchequer suffered a colossal loss of Rs113 billion due to the negligence of the then federal law ministry for causing a delay in giving necessary approval and completing documents for the execution of 950-megawatt power generation projects of Nandipur and Chichon-Ki-Malian.