ISLAMABAD, June 28: The National Accountability Bureau has asked the interior ministry to place the names of all accused in the rental power projects case on the Exit Control List, but the ministry is reported to be hesitating to do so because Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is one of the accused.

“We have written a letter to the interior ministry to put the names of all accused in the case on the ECL,” NAB spokesman Zafar Iqbal said. He did not say whether the letter was written before Mr Ashraf had taken oath or after that.

“We cannot comment on the date the letter was written,” he said.

In line with a directive given by the Supreme Court in April, NAB forwarded the names of a number of influential people, including federal ministers, secretaries and owners of RPPs, to the interior ministry for placing them on the ECL.

Included among them are: former federal ministers for water and power Raja Pervez Ashraf, Liaquat Ali Khan Jatoi and Tariq Hameed, former finance minister Shaukat Tarin, former secretaries of water and power Shahid Rafi, Muhammad Ismail Qureshi and Ishfaq Mehmood, former finance secretary Salman Siddique, former chairmen of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) Khalid Saeed and Lt-Gen (retd) Saeed Uz Zafar, Genco chief executive officer Yousaf Ali, former managing directors of the Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) Khalid Irfan Rahman, Fayyaz Elahi and Yousaf Memon, former managing directors of the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) Tahir Basharat Cheema and Munawar Baseer Ahmad and Pepco chief executive officers Muhammad Arif Saleem, Fazal Ahmad Khan and Chaudhry Muhammad Anwar.

Twelve RPPs whose property has been seized are: Techno-E Power (on Summandri Road, Faisalabad), Young Generation (Satiana Road, Faisalabad), Techno-E Power (Sahuwal, Sialkot), Pakistan Power Resources (Guddu district, Kashmore), Karkay Karodeniz (a Turkish ship anchored in Karachi), Gulf Rental (Aimanabad, Gujranwala), Reshma Power (Raiwind Road, Lahore), Walters Power International Naudero-I (Larkana), Walters Power International Naudero-II (Larkana), M/s Alstome (Bhakki district, Sheikhupura), M/s General Electric Power (Sharqpur district, Sheikhupura) and Pakistan Power Resources (Piranghaib, Multan).

When the interior ministry did not put these names on the ECL the bureau sent a reminder.

Before assuming charge of the prime minister, Raja Pervez had recorded his statement with NAB.

“We can again call Mr Ashraf if our investigators required his another statement,” head of NAB’s media wing Dr Ayesha Siddiqa said.

She said Mr Ashraf was still an accused and NAB would continue its investigation into the case without any pressure.

In April, the apex court had rescinded the RPP contracts and ordered NAB chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari to proceed with corruption references against those who were at the helm of affairs when the deals were signed between 2006 and 2008.

The NAB has served notices on the owners and chief executives of all RPPs to pay Rs22 billion they had received from the government as mobilisation advance for setting up power projects.

Mr Ashraf had welcomed the Supreme Court decision in a TV programme, but said the contracts with the RPPs had been signed during the Musharraf government in 2006. The agreements signed in 2008 had been approved by the federal cabinet, he said.