ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to file a supplementary reference against former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in Naudero-II Rental Power Plant (RPP) case.
The Executive Board meeting of the NAB was held on Thursday with new Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry in the chair.
Raja Pervez Ashraf served as water and power minister in the first (PM) Gilani cabinet in 2008-09 before being sent packing by the then government for poor performance. He was surprisingly picked up as premier to replace Yousaf Raza Gilani who got disqualified by the apex court mid-2012.
The NAB investigators are investigating 12 different RPPs projects on different locations. These plants were owned by different sponsors and owners. More than 50 individuals and officials of different distribution companies, ministries and PEPCO are placed on exit control list (ECL) to avoid their escape from Pakistan.
Despite Supreme Court’s verdict to recover an amount of $223.58 million wasted for Rental Power Plants (RPPs), NAB until now seemed helpless against any sponsor and private owner of the RPPs, as it has yet to recover more than Rs 20 billion from powerful owners and defaulters of RPPs.
Separately, the NAB now has authorised two further inquiries, first against Makhdoomzada Syed Murid Kazim, ex-minister revenue KPK, former senior member board of revenue KPK Ahsan Ullah and others. The accused were alleged to have misused their authority for allotment of prime government land measuring on 182 kanals in DI Khan, KPK. In the second authorisation, an inquiry has been ordered against the officials of QESCO for illegal recruitment of 280 employees without following the due process.
The NAB (Sindh) has been directed to re-double their efforts and finalise cases of Pakistan Steel Mills corruption entrusted to NAB on Supreme Court of Pakistan orders.
Throughout Raja’s tenure as premier, NAB could not expedite cases against him. A preliminary reference has already been filed against nine other accused for alleged misuse of authority in violation of rules while awarding the RPP project at Naudero-II and shifting equipment from one project to another that caused a huge loss to the national exchequer.
The nine accused against whom preliminary reference was filed in Naudero-II RPPs case in accountability court include former secretary ministry of water and power (MoWP) and ex-chairman PEPCO Shahid Rafi, ex-additional Secretary MoWP Sheikh Zarrar Aslam, ex-MD/CEO PEPCO Engineer Tahir Basharat Cheema, ex-directors PEPCO board of directors (BOD) Malik Muhammad Razi Abbas and Wazir Ali Bhayo, ex-GM Wapda power privatization organisation (WPPO), CEO central power generation company Ltd (CPGCL) Tariq Nazir, ex-CEO CPGCL Abdul Malik Memon and ex-MD PEPCO Rasool Khan.
Earlier, the Supreme Court (SC) had directed NAB to investigate into the matter and recover the amount from the responsible and fix the liability on the state functionaries who misused their authority in installation of RPPs and allowed the agreements which were not in favour of the state. According to details, 12 cases regarding RPPs were referred by the SC to the NAB for probe but after passing almost 18 months, the Bureau could only file one interim reference in accountability court against the nine accused of RPPs. The investigation against the aforementioned accused was conducted by several investigators of NAB who have collected evidence against them.
According to details processed by NAB, Shahid Rafi illegally allowed processing of unsolicited proposal in violation of PPRA Rules 2004 and obtained its approval from ECC by misleading the body. The said accused failed to exercise his authority while giving the undue benefit to the sponsors of RPPs by allowing shifting of machinery without having approval from the competent authority even though the GM (WAPDA) Power Privatization Organization (WPPO) on May 7, 2010 conveyed the decision of PEPCO and CPGCL Board of Directors (BOD) that the company’s request for shifting of machinery was unwarranted and could not be granted to.
Similarly, the accused Zarar Aslam willfully allowed processing of unsolicited proposal in violation of PPRA rules and obtained the approval from ECC through concealing the facts. He misused the authority while giving undue favour to RPP sponsor by violating rules of business through non-circulation of agenda of Power Private Infrastructure Board (PPIB) meeting and accepting proposal not favourable to the government.
In the same way, Engineer Tahir Basharat Cheema, illegally allowed processing of unsolicited proposal in violation of PPRA rules and misused his authority to authorise signing of Rental Services Contract on March 4, 2010. He exercised undue influence on government officials in violation of NEPRA rules and directives, and failed to exercise his authority while allowing shifting of machinery without getting approval from the competent authority.
The accused Malik Muhammad Razi Abbas did not adhere to the NEPRA rules and directives and failed to exercise his authority while giving undue benefit to RPPs sponsors by allowing shifting of machinery without getting approval from the competent authority.
The accused Wazir Ali Bhayo also did not adhere to the PEPCO board of directors’ decision and NEPRA rules. The accused failed to exercise his authority while giving the undue favour to RPPs sponsors by allowing shifting of machinery without prior permission from the competent authority.
Similarly, the accused Tariq Nazir willfully processed unsolicited proposal in violation of PPRA Rules 2004 and misused his authority by signing of RSC without approval of CPGCL board of directors. He accepted undue influence from managing director PEPCO and others while committing violation of NEPRA rules and directives and granted undue favour to the sponsor accepting the proposal that was not favourable to the government.
Rana Muhammad Amjad willfully allowed processing of unsolicited proposal in violation of PPRA Rules 2004 and misused his authority by exercising undue influence on MD PEPCO and others for signing of RSC in violation of NEPRA rules and directives and willfully failed to adhere to the PEPCO board of directors’ decision while preparing the working papers in violation of rules.
The accused miserably failed to exercise his authority while giving undue benefit to the sponsors of RPPs by allowing the shifting of machinery.