- Reference holds PM Imran’s Adviser Babar Awan, ex-PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Law Ministry officials responsible for delay in power project
RAWALPINDI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday filed a corruption reference against political top shots, including Prime Minister’s Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan and former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf regarding a delay in the Nandipur power project.
Babar Awan served as the law and justice minister during the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government, whereas Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was the minister for water and power before being elevated as the prime minister.
Other officials named in the reference include former law and justice secretary Masood Chishti, Justice (r) Riaz Kiyani, former law and justice research consultant Shamila Mahmood, former law and justice senior joint secretary Dr Riaz Mahmood and former water and power secretary Shahid Rafi.
The Supreme Court decided the CP No.67/2011 regarding a delay in Nandipur Project and a commission has been nominated consisting upon Justice (r) Rahmat Hussain Jafferi to determine the responsibility for delaying causes.
The commission conducted an inquiry after an examination of the existing record as well as the witnesses and submitted a report regarding the issue in April 2012.
Jafferi’s report held the Law Ministry officials responsible for the delay in the project. Thereafter, the Ministry of Water and Power referred the matter to NAB in the light of the report submitted by the commission.
As per details, “the Nandipur Power Project was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in December 2007 at a cost of US $329 million.”
Following the approval, a contract was signed in 2008 between Northern Power Generation Company Limited (NPGCL) and Dong Fang Electric Corporation (DEC), China.
Furthermore, two consortium i.e. COFACE for 69 million euros and SINOSURE for US $150 million were established for financing of the project.
The Ministry of Water and Power approached the Law Ministry to issue the legal opinion as per schedule of agreement in July 2009, but the accused in connivance with each other and with malafide intentions repeatedly refused to issue on flimsy grounds.
Furthermore, the Water and Power Ministry failed to take any concrete measures to resolve the issue, and the matter was left pending.
Following a change in guards at the Law Ministry when Babar Awan replaced, the same legal opinion was issued in November 2011. Thus, the delay caused a huge loss to the National Exchequer for about Rs27 billion approximately.
During the investigation, it was established that the accused failed to exercise their authority and caused a huge loss to the National Exchequer. Hence, committing the Offense(s) of corruption and corrupt practice, as defined u/s 9 (a) (vi) and (xii) with Sr 5 of Schedule Offences of NAO 1999.