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ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Power on Tuesday gave an additional two weeks to the Procurement Committee of NTDC BoD, to finalise its recommendations on alleged “mis-procurement” in contract of 765-Kv double-circuit transmission line from the Dasu power station to Islamabad.

This decision was made after the rest of the Committee Members opposed Chairman Senator Saifullah Abro’s proposal to write a letter to President of the World Bank in Washington DC.

The committee witnessed a heated debate with accusations of corruption of billions of rupees against power sector officials together with the display of World Bank Country Director’s letter to Secretary Power Division, Rashid Mahmood Langrial, in which the Bank declared Dasu transmission line project free of corruption and in line with its rules.

Contracts of Dasu transmission: Senate body chief seeks audio and video recordings, minutes of NTDC’s meeting

Chairman Standing Committee also shared a letter of World Bank Country Director Najy Benhassine to Chairman Senate with Arshad Majeed Mohmand, Additional Secretary-III Power Division, in which he requested the closure of the inquiry of Dasu double-circuit transmission line.

Senator Bahramand Tangi, Senator, Haji Hayadatullah Khan, Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Dilawar Khan and Senator Fida Muhammad opposed writing a letter to World Bank President with some Senators arguing that since Pakistan is doing projects on loans such action will further defame it at an international level.

Arshad Majeed Mohmand, Additional Secretary-III, Power Division defended Secretary Power’s actions, stating that the transmission line contract is a dispute between two companies, i.e., a Turkish firm SA-RA and a Chinese firm.

“Nothing is impossible in Pakistan,” said Additional Secretary Power Division.

The Committee was informed that each step of the transmission line project has been vetted by the World Bank through No Objection Letter (NOL), which implies that Bank’s procurement rules have been complied with in letter and sprit. During discussion on the issue, Secretary NTDC wanted to share minutes of Procurement Committee of NTDC Board but that did not happen due to heated debate during the meeting, including between Committee members.

During this debate, Chairman Standing Committee offered to take oath on the Quran that if his allegations are unfounded then God should destroy him and sought similar pledges from all concerned officials of NTDC. The officials of Power Division and NTDC did not respond to this.

The chairman also suggested to convene a joint meeting of Board with Standing Committee members either in Islamabad or NTDC Headquarters so that one of them could convince the other, given that at least three Committee members are also ‘engineers’.

The Committee sought a detailed report from NESPAK on $250 million ADB project ACSR Bunting Conductor LoT-II with the objective being the construction of a 500-kV double-circuit T/L for power evacuation from 870-MW Suki Kinari HPP to the national grid.

The Committee raised eyebrows at the selection of one firm which has never manufactured Bunting Conductor and directed NESPAK to review documents of 30 per cent local labour, etc., presented by the firm.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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