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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Power has asked National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) to stop remaining payment of all contractors and consultants of 765-kV double circuit transmission line of Dasu Hydropower station.

The Standing Committee headed by Senator Saifullah Abro has also submitted its report to Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani who directed the former to also share it with Power Division.

According to the report, Chairman Committee enquired from Company Secretary, NTDC, whether the relevant Clause is 3.26 of the World Bank regulations who told him to quote this clause in the Minutes of the Board meeting.

The Chairman Committee stated that clauses 3.25 & 3.26 have already been discussed several times in the previous committee meetings and took serious notice that the Board of NTDC had wrongly mentioned the definition of clause 3.26 in the Speaking Order of the Board.

Dasu Transmission Line: World Bank warns against cancellation of contracts

The Additional Secretary Power Division also read out Clause 3.25 which states: “If the Bank determines that the Borrower has not complied with the procurement requirements set out in the Legal Agreement, the Bank may, in addition to exercising the legal remedies set out in the Legal Agreement, take other appropriate actions, including declaring mis-procurement (for example, due to the failure to address complaints in accordance with applicable requirements)”. Clause 3.26 states that “Even once the contract is awarded after obtaining a no objection from the Bank, the Bank may still take appropriate actions and exercise legal remedies, regardless of whether the project has closed or not, if it concludes that the no objection or the notice of satisfactory resolution was issued on the basis of incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading information furnished by the Borrower or the terms and conditions of the contract had been substantially modified without the Bank’s no objection”.

The report noted that Chairman Committee stated that it is quite clear that NTDC had not adhered to instructions from the Lahore High Court, adding that it is a blunder committed by the NTDC Board to quote wrong definition of the Clause 3.26 in the Speaking Order. He further stated that if borrower seeks the No Objection Letter (NOL) from World Bank, then World Bank is in a position to take action against the Borrower even when the project is closed.

The plea of SA-RA Energy Construction Trade & Industry Co. Inc is that M/s Sinohydro is a disqualified firm and they are the second lowest bidder of the project. The company is eligible to take the project and according to their briefing, the Company waited for 90 days for decision of the Board despite the fact that a meeting was held on 12th December, 2022.

It was further noted by the Company Secretary NTDC that Speaking Order was prepared under the supervision of Director Legal & Member of BoD with legal background. The queries raised by SA-RA Energy Construction Trade & Industry Co. Inc. were answered by NTDC.

The Chainman Committee recommended NTDC to provide the audio-recording and minutes of meeting of Board, NTDC along with a covering letter signed by Company Secretary.

The Chairman Committee & Members of the Committee enquired from the Company Secretary NTDC, whether the Board NTDC had addressed the queries raised by SA-RA Energy Construction Trade & Industry Co. Inc and asked him to read those points mentioned in the Speaking Order. The Company Secretary NTDC failed to respond.

Surprisingly, there was no discussion, on any point and issue addressed in the Speaking Order. The queries raised by complainant M/s SA-RA Energy Construction Trade & Industry Co. Inc were not addressed and BoD, NTDC did not obey the orders of the High Court and ignored knockout clauses in pre-qualification documents malafidely and deliberately, also mentioned in the Minutes of the meeting in para 16 and how the Board had not considered those violations.

Why they waited for 90 days to issue Speaking Orders instead of 14 days admitted by Company Secretary, NTDC remained unanswered.

After detailed deliberations, the Committee unanimously decided and recommended to the Power Division to take strict action on the recommendations of the Committee made in the last Committee meeting and tell Secretary, Power Division that position of NTDC is embarrassing for the country as it is a World Bank funded project.

The Committee maintained that if this is the case then what has NTDC done in other projects where there is no check of consultant and the Power Division; it is a monopoly of the NTDC officials. The Committee further recommended that Secretary Power Division may take action and blacklist both companies and write a letter to World Bank to blacklist both companies and re-tender LoT-1.

Power Division to take action in the light of the petition submitted by SA-RA Energy Construction Trade &Industry Co. Inc regarding their plea that as M/s Sinohydro is a disqualified firm and as second lowest bidder of the project, they may be considered before re-tendering of the project. Power Division may resolve the issue as per rules and guidelines of the World Bank.

The Committee also recommended that Power Division holds the remaining payments of M/s Harbin Electric International, as per discussion of the Committee in the previous Committee meetings and admitted by Chief Executive/ Project Director Dasu that M/s Harbin Electric International is a disqualified Company and it has not fulfilled the basic requirement of the different projects in LoT-I & II and the Company has been qualified for LoT-II with the same project provided in LoT-I, which implies that LoT-II is also awarded to a disqualified firm and detailed discussion will be conducted in the next Committee meeting.

The Committee will also discuss other LoTs and other components (LoT-II, III and IV) of 765 kV double circuit transmission line from Dasu Hydropower station to Islamabad in the next meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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KU Sep 20, 2023 04:22pm
If history of corruption is a standard to go by, only a handful of corrupt people in Pakistan have deliberately destroyed an economy for 240 million people because they could not get a share in the pie, and yet article 6 is never mentioned nor treason nor crimes against the economy of Pakistan.
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