LAHORE - Apparently in a bid to minimise the chances of corruption by government functionaries, the government has decided in principle to outsource the operation and maintenance of the Nandipur power project, to be completed by the end of this year. Decision to this effect was taken at a meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday last at the project site when he was being briefed on the progress made on the power plant which would be generating 425 MW of electricity once it is operational. Reportedly, the chief minister took this decision after he was told by Project Director Capt Mahmood that outsourcing of operation and maintenance of the project was highly essential to end corruption during its operational phase. The project director pleaded that though apparently it would look like that the cost of production of electricity has been increased, but in the ultimate analysis, he said, the government would not be at loss. “The money going to the company responsible for maintenance and operation would be negligible compared to the volume of likely corruption in the process,” he told the chief minister. Shahbaz Sharif agreed with the proposal and said he would talk to the prime minister in this regard, and hopefully, he would approve the suggestion. “There are several instances of such corruption in the public sector organisations as persons responsible for procurement of fuel and other items would misappropriate millions of the public money,” the chief minister remarked. The first turbine of Nandipur plant would start producing 100 MW of electricity by the end of May, while it would be fully operational by December end, according to current estimates.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 15-Feb-2014 here.