Inquiries in alleged irregularities against three projects disposed off in Senate body meeting

Rs85.7b recovered due to anti-theft drive that started in second week of August 2023

ISLAMABAD  -  The Senate Committee on Power gave a clean chit in the inquiries related to alleged irregularities in three projects including two World Bank funded Dasu Transmission Line projects lot-I, II and tender for procurement of Bunting Conductor financed by Asian Devel­opment Bank. Inquiries in the alleged irregularities against all the three projects have been disposed off in a meeting of the Senate Standing Com­mittee on Power that met with Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar in the chair. 

It is worth mentioning here that the most vocal voice of Senator Saifullah Abro, who had dig out the alleged ir­regularities in the World Bank and ADB projects as a chairman of the Senate committee, was silenced last year when he was ousted as chair of the commit­tee in an unprecedented no-confidence move. The session commenced with the chairperson inquiring about the re­port regarding the two matters regard­ing awarding of contracts to (M/s Sino­hydro Corporation) for LoT-I of Dasu Transmission Line Project (DTLP), (M/s Harbin Electric International) for LoT-II and consultant (M/s GOPA Intec) for construction of 765kV double circuit transmission line from Dasu Hydro Pow­er Station to Islamabad I/C Grid Station and ADB project ACSR Bunting Conduc­tor LoT-II as discussed and referred to Power Division in the last meeting. The managing director, NESPAK provided briefing on World Bank funded Dasu Transmission Line project (DTLP)(Lot-I by M/s Sinohydro Corporation Limited), DTLP (Lot-II by M/s Harbin Electric In­ternational), DTLP (Consultant Hiring by M/s GOPA Intec), and alleged irregulari­ties in the procurement of ACSR Bunting Conductor (M/s Newage Cables Lahore) funded by ADB. It was alleged that both responsive companies did not have any experience of Bunting Conductor.

However, owing to domestic prefer­ence the 2nd lowest bidder (M/s New­age) became first lowest bidder instead of M/s Henan Tong-Da China which was first lowest bidder. Additionally, MD dis­cussed the pre-qualification matter with Lot-I of DTLP by M/s Sinohydro Corpo­ration Limited thoroughly. Minister for Energy (Power Division) Mohammad Ali added that the World Bank, being the do­nor agency, has the right to set the frame­work for changes, emphasizing that there was complete transparency and no mali­cious action from their end. He also clari­fied the allegations faced by M/s Harbin Electric International, stating that the ac­cusations were false. On the power sector circular debt, Secretary Power Division claimed of freezing the circular debt at Rs 2310 billion as of December 2023.

He assured the committee of the ef­forts being made for progress. In detail, the Secretary, Power Division briefed the status of circular debt, explaining that all circular debts had met their set target of Rs. 2,310 trillion as of Decem­ber 21, 2023, including those success­fully negotiated with the IMF, ensur­ing consistency in 2024 as well. It was informed that Rs85.7 billion have been recovered due to an anti-theft drive that started in the second week of Au­gust 2023. The ministry expressed con­fidence that addressing circular debt would lead to progress rather than re­gression. The secretary of the Power Division emphasized that they have imposed restrictions on staff posting to control electricity theft, despite objec­tions from the Election Commission. 

The committee members also discussed Public Petition No. PP-5485 regarding the restoration of electricity in Mirani Dam Feeder Dasht, District Kech. The Power Division explained that the system had de­teriorated due to floods and emphasized the necessity of local support, as 80% of the inefficiency is attributed to a lack of financial resources and law enforcement support. The chairman Committee as­sured the ministry of his support and rec­ommended writing letter to the provincial government of Balochistan to facilitate the supply of electricity in the area. The Com­mittee members also considered Public Petition No. PP-5652 & 5653 against the management of K-Electric IBC for the il­legal disconnection of PMT in Jahanabad near Gulshan-e-Maymar, Karachi. The K-Electric official explained that after analy­sis, it was discovered that the fault was at the PMT end, and the issue had already been resolved. Additionally, the Manag­ing Director of NESPAK also provided a detailed presentation on the consultancy and progress of all NESPAK projects.

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