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Nandipur Power Project: PPP submits adjournment motion in National Assembly

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has submitted an adjournment motion in the National Assembly Secretariat to discuss "mismanagement" and "irregularities" in the Nandipur Power Project. The motion was submitted by Shazia Mari, Dr Nafisa Shah, Imran Laghari, Aijaz Jakhrani & Abdul Sattar Bachani.

According to their adjournment motion, "We the undersigned request that the proceedings of the House be adjourned to discuss a very urgent and serious matter regarding gross irregularities in much hyped Nandipur Power Project. Despite spending billions of rupees on the project the government has so far failed to attain anything substantial from it as a plant with capacity of producing 425MW electricity is generating zero MW at present."

The adjournment motion further says, "this is sheer negligence and policy failure on the part of the government which wasted billions of rupees of a country like Pakistan that already has limited resources and depends heavily on borrowing. Everyone involved in this must be dealt with an iron hand. This is a serious matter and needs to be discussed immediately on the floor of the House."

Dr Shah told Business Recorder that Nandipur Power Project is a mega scandal of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government. She said the cost of the project has escalated to Rs 80 billion but it could not generate a single megawatt of electricity so far. She said the project is waste of public money. Many small power projects could have been started with Rs 80 billion, she added.

"The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) are taking actions only in Sindh. Why isn't NAB or FIA taking action against mega scandal of Nandipur Power Project in Punjab? Why are they not arresting the Minister of Water and Power? FIA and NAB are only victimising the PPP leaders and arresting Sindh ministers in the name of accountability," Shah said.

Answering a question about the audit of the project, she said the audit of the project is just an eye-wash. "There are many mega scandals including Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Project of the PML-N government. The PML-N government should start accountability from home," she said. She said that PML-N government awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz to Nandipur Power Project Managing Director (M.D) Muhammad Mehmood instead of taking action against him. She said the MD of the project committed contempt of the House when he informed the National Assembly Standing Committee that the Project would be operational by January 2015.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday ordered an audit of the Project. And the Ministry of Water and Power has directed the Auditor General of Pakistan to conduct an audit keeping in view three points: (1) the reasons behind cost escalation; (2) amount spent so far; and (3) whether the Board, Administration of the project and the contractor fulfilled their responsibilities.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015