ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to initiate fresh investigations against former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and five former senior bureaucrats for illegally awarding a contract of rental power project (RPP) in Gujranwala.
The RPP contract was illegally assigned to Gulf Rental Power, Gujranwala, for the production of 62 megawatts of electricity, the watchdog said. A NAB spokesperson said, “This illegal act caused the national exchequer a huge loss of Rs. 493.85 million.”
The decision to open the investigation was made during the NAB executive board meeting held at its headquarters in Islamabad on Tuesday. The NAB spokesman said an inquiry has been ordered against the former premier and five former senior bureaucrats.
Pervaiz Ashraf, who in his capacity as minister of Water and Power, along with Shahid Rafi, former secretary Water and Power; Fayyaz Ellahi, former managing director Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB); N A Zubairi, former executive director PPIB; Fazal Ahmed Khan, former managing director PEPCO and Ghulam Mustafa Tunio, former CEO of GENCO-III, had reportedly awarded the illegal contract to a private power company by allegedly taking kick backs and misuse of authority.
An accountability court has already indicted Pervez Ashraf and 11 others in the rental power project case. Former finance minister Shaukat Tareen, former federal secretaries Ismail Qureshi and Shahid Rafi were also among those indicted in the case of alleged corruption in the Sahuwal and Piranghaib rental power projects.
NAB has been investigating 12 RPPs cases in which nine firms reportedly received more than Rs22 billion as mobilisation advance from the government to commission the projects, but most of them were accused of failing to set up plants.
The bureau has already recovered Rs13 billion in the case.
Earlier, the Supreme Court (SC) had declared Rental Power Projects (RPPs) as illegal and also ordered them to be shut down.
The apex court had said that the rules and regulations were violated in these projects due to which the national exchequer witnessed losses of billions.
Prior to RPPs, the electricity generation system had sufficient potential, but “instead of taking curative steps for its improvement,… billions of rupees were spent on RPPs, which proved complete failures”, read its verdict.
The verdict further holds the finance ministry, WAPDA, PEPCO and GENCOs responsible for “causing huge losses to the public exchequer, which run into billions of rupees by making 7% to 14% down payments to, and purchasing electricity on higher rates, from RPPs.”
Moreover, SC had ordered to initiate proceedings against the then Water and Power minister Pervez Asharaf and all others involved in the case.
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