ISLAMABAD - At a time when city managers are swiftly advancing to launch lights projects worth billions of rupees under new terms and conditions after Asian Development Bank’s refusal to fund the project, the Transparency International (TI) has pointed out several violations the Capital Development Authority has committed while reinitiating the process.

As per new arrangements, the contractor firm that has already been awarded the contract of Rs6.5 billion project would finance 75 per cent (Rs 4.9 billion) of the project on deferred payments basis, while CDA would provide remaining 25 per cent (Rs 1.6 billion) of the project. As the cash-starved CDA has already been facing financial constraints, so it has decided to go to the federal government for cash development loan at high interest rate and amounting to Rs 1.6 billion, to make the authority enable to share its part of funds in the project.   Now, Transparency International in a letter written to CDA Chairman Engineer Farkhand Iqbal on April 2, 2012 has stated the idea of getting cash development loan from Ministry of Finance as illegal, saying acts of such violation is liable to be dealt under National Accountability Ordinance 1999 by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The TI has declared this CDA’s move as “post tender change and thus illegal” as per provisions of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Ordinance and Public Procurement Rules 2004. The TI in its letter has also quoted recent verdict of the Apex Court in Rental Power Project (RPP) case in the backdrop of this development, where honourable judges in detailed judgement have declared post tender changes as illegal.

The TI has also termed the details of the project shared by the authority with Supreme Court of Pakistan, Transparency International Pakistan, Chairman NAB, Chairman Public Accounts Committee, MD PPRA and AGP through a letter written on January 9, 2012 to aforementioned institutions as “misleading to government institutions”.

On January 9, 2012 CDA in its letter to above mentioned government institutions has stated that the project is funded principally by Asian Development Bank which includes soft terms for repayment includes a carefully restructured repayment plan allowing CDA to repay the funding from the savings resulting from the lower consumption of energy.

The TI letter further states that this information was shared by CDA on January 9, contrary to the fact that already on January 4, 2012 Asian Development Bank has officially informed CDA and Ministry of Water and Power that bank was not going to fund this project stating some irregularities committed by CDA in equipment procurement process. Based on provision of misleading information to several government institutions including the honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan, TI has warned city managers that they are committing grave mistake. The letter further states that even Planning Commission of Pakistan has not approved the PC-I of the project till today, without which CDA is not supposed to invite tenders under rule no. 11 of PPRA.

“Dr Nadeemul Haq, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission himself confirmed to Transparency International (Pakistan) that PC-I of the project was not approved, as the estimated cost by CDA is many times more than the competitive market prices,” the letter reads. The copy of this letter has also been dispatched to Chairman PAC, Registrar Supreme Court of Pakistan, Chairman, NAB, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Managing Director PPRA and Auditor General of Pakistan.