LAHORE – The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) does not seem interested in taking action on a mega scam involving procurement of substandard transformers to Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) despite the latter’s recommendations to proceed against the supplier firms.
It was, later, established in the inquiry conducted by the Pepco that the transformers supplied by some local firms were manufactured using substandard material which caused line losses to Wapda worth billions of rupees.
“If they are allowed to manufacture transformers as per Pakistani standards, it will help Wapda save trillions of yuans in terms of line losses alone,” said the Chinese firm in its communication with the Pakistan government.
As per PEPCO sources, the case was sent to the FIA six months ago for further action against the companies concerned. Initially, the matter was referred to the NAB, but the bureau took no interest in it, they further said.
An FIA senior officer, seeking anonymity, said using substandard transformers meant increasing the line losses of Wapda up to billions of rupees.
FIA investigations, on the other hand, revealed that the PEPCO Lahore office purchased 100,000kg silicon from a scarp store (Data Hajveri) of Misri Shah. “But when the FIA tried to probe the matter, there was no record of this procurement with the Wapda office, which reflected a mala fide intention of its officials,” they alleged. When contacted, FIA spokesperson Haroon Meer said an inquiry was underway and would be completed in due course of time.
Distribution and transformer manufacturing company of China, in its complaint to the Ministry of Water and Power, Islamabad, also alleged that their transformers were rejected by PEPCO under the influence of local manufacturers who misguided the purchasers (PEPCO) about the Chinese manufacturers.
It also alleged that local manufactures were using scrap and recycled material (oil and silicon steel) for the manufacturing of transformers and the testing facilities were not up to the mark.
As per details, the matter was referred to the Pepco MD on whose direction the GM (M&S) constituted an inquiry committee comprising Director Design (NTDC) Rehman Maqbol, additional manager, D&S NTDC, Sajid Munir Sulehri, and Maj. (retd) Tahir Mehmood, deputy director investigation.
The committee concluded that after sorting out the record of purchase and consumption of silicon steel, the material used in the manufacturing of transformers was of poor quality. These firms included M/s AB Ampere, M/s Hammad Engg. (Pvt) Ltd and M/s Pan Power International (Pvt) Ltd. The M/s A.B. Ampere and M/s Pan Power did not respond to the silicon core pointed out by the committee while M/s Hammad Engg approached the civil court of law challenging the constitution of the enquiry committee.
The record of the following firms was observed to be in order: M/s ACE Indigo Industries (Pvt) Ltd, M/s Elmetec (Pvt) Ltd, M/s J.F Industries, M/s Pak Elektron Limited (PEL), M/s Siemens Pakistan, M/s Transpower Industries (Pvt) Ltd, M/s Powertech and M/s Translab.
The inquiry committee of the Pepco recommended that since A.B. Ampere (Pvt) Limited, Lahore, M/s Pan Power International (Pvt) Limited, Lahore, and M/s Hammad Engg. Co (Pvt) Limited, Lahore, did not respond to the shortage of silicon steel core, the allegations pointed out by the inquire committee seemed true.
The inquiry officers observed that the conclusions made in the report were based on the documents provided by the manufacturers of transformers and verified by the supporting documents and the circumstantial evidence. The enquiry committee was of the opinion that action could be taken against M/s A.B. Ampere (Pvt) Limited Lahore, M/s Pan Power International (Pvt) Limited, Lahore and M/s Engg. Co (Pvt) Limited, Lahore, by the competent authority.