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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has initiated inquiries into alleged corruption in a number of energy-related projects of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government.

Some of these projects include Sahiwal and Port Qasim coal power projects, recent increase in gas pricing, audit of Independent Power Projects (IPPs) and Quaid-i-Azam Solar Power Project. The projects were launched by the PML-N government to overcome electricity loadshedding in the country.

Sources told Dawn that NAB has issued notices to all officials allegedly involved in irregularities and corruption and asked them to bring relevant record of the projects.

It has been learnt that Sahiwal and Port Qasim coal power projects and Quaid-i-Azam Solar Project are comparatively costlier than other power projects. A recent bidding for Jamshoro coal power projects revealed that the highest bid for it was more than 50 per cent lower than the bids received for Sahiwal and Port Qasim projects.

Orders complaint verification of awarding contract for installing 450 RO plants in Sindh

One of the objections faced by the PML-N government was that coal was produced in Thar but the project was set up in Sahiwal.

Sahiwal Coal Power Project, inaugurated in May last year, is the first energy sector’s initiative under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Started in March 2015, it was built at a cost of $1.6 billion. It is a joint-venture of China’s state-owned Huaneng Shandong Electricity Limited (owning 51 per cent of stake) and textile firm Shandong Ruyi Group (holding 49pc stake). They built the project on a Build, Operate and Transfer basis.

NAB has also asked authorities concerned for the audit of IPPs which were not conducted due to political reasons. Auditors have detected irregularities in the award of the engineering, procurement and construction and operation and maintenance contract for the establishment of a 100MW plant of the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Power Private Limited (QASPPL) to a private firm.

Auditor General of Pakistan’s auditors found illegalities in the 2013-2017 audit of the company, according to an audit report.

According to NAB, arrested chief of Lahore Development Authority Ahad Cheema was allegedly involved in QASPPL.

RO PLANTS IN SINDH: NAB chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal on Monday ordered complaint verification of awarding contract for installing 450 Reserve Osmosis (RO) plants to Pak Oisis in violation of rules and regulations.

The RO plants were to be installed to provide clean drinking water to people of Tharparkar, Chachhro and Mithi.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2018