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ISLAMABAD: The wrangle between the Power Division and Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Power, Senator Saifullah Abro on ADB’s project of ACSR Bunting Conductor Lot II A over a reported suspicious contract has intensified and the latter has refused to withdraw recommendations of the Committee of October 17, 2023 including the letter written by Secretary Committee.

“Letter has been written in my absence and without my approval as Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Power. I totally disagree and disown the contents of the letter mentioning withdrawal of directions/ recommendations of Committee meeting held on October 17, 2023, which is null and void, devoid of any legal authority,” said Senator Abro in his letter to Secretary Power.

The copies of his letter have also been sent to Secretary Senate, Principal Secretary to Chairman Senate, Section Officer (Council), Power Division and Managing Director National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK).

Summoning ‘errant’ NTDC Board: Power Division and Senate panel join hands

Senator Abro maintains that this is an act of misconduct and violation of rules, regulations and SOPs pertaining to the proceedings of the Senate Standing Committees.

“Senate Standing Committee on Power cannot support such type of corruption and irregularities in Power Division and NESPAK regarding award of huge contracts to their blue-eyed firms, illegally,” he added. The Committee in its meeting held on October 17, 2023 unanimously decided and directed the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) and NESPAK to re-evaluate the tender process of ADB Project ACSR Bunting Conductor and submit the re-evaluation report within two weeks’ time.

The Committee further recommended Power Division, NTDC and NESPAK that agreement may not be signed as the entire tender process was found to be wrongly evaluated and manipulated by NESPAK and NTDC officials with malafide intent in favour of 2nd lowest bidder, M/s Newage surprisingly declared the first lowest bidder with illegal domestic preference.

Chairman Senate Standing Committee has maintained that as such the recommendations of the Committee given in its meeting on October 17, 2023 stand intact.

He noted that directed Managing Director, NESPAK, despite lapse of 28 days, could not submit its report to the Committee, and urged MD NESPAK to submit the report within two days.

The Committee has already recommended to Power Division , NTDC and NESPAK not to sign the agreement as the entire tender process was found to be wrongly evaluated and manipulated by NESPAK and NTDC officials with malafide intent in favour of the 2nd lowest bidder, M/s Newage, surprisingly declared lowest bidder with illegal domestic preference – a bid that was not submitted on July 7,2022 but on October 13, 2023 after irregularities were found by the Committee in the meeting held on September 26, 2023.

NESPAK also misguided the Committee that M/s Henan Tong Da, China has no experience of ACSR Bunting Conductor. The company has experience of ACSR Bunting Conductor in Suki Kinari hydropower project where NESPAK is consultant and NESPAK and NTDC officials were well aware of this and were witnesses to testing, shipment and other formalities, already mentioned in their submitted briefing documents in the meeting held on October 17, 2023. Power Division and MD, NESPAK were asked take action against involved officials of NTDC and NESPAK.

Senate Standing Committee is also probing contracts of 765-kV double circuit transmission line from Dasu to Islamabad.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Kashif ALI Nov 14, 2023 12:11pm
Saif Abro is an unqualified politician who just does not know about Power sector. He can't even communicate well in English, what to mention of his capability to deal in the Engineering sector. Remove him from the senator position too. Pakistan will remain a garbage dump because of politicians who are more like Abro.
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AAN Nov 15, 2023 06:53am
@Kashif ALI, you seems to familiar with Mr. Abro how you come to about him so well ! Any how the concerned raised by the standing committee should not be ignored at all. I know what consultant do. They have the skills to manage the qualifications of one party and disqualify others. Further in regard to vendor newage cables having advantage of domestic preference may be genuine as it supports the local industry any how in this if it was included or not to be checked as it is usually the parts of the tender and pre bid documents and can't be done during post bid clarification.
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