ISLAMABAD Ministry of Water and Power, in its presentation to the Cabinet meeting held on January 29, about the ADB report on Rental Power Plants (RPPs), concealed all the negative findings of the report regarding the procedure adopted to issue licences for these RPPs. TheNation has reliably learnt that a 12-page presentation was issued to all the participants of the meeting. In the entire presentation no negative commentary and findings of the ADB report were mentioned. All serious observations of the report about lack of transparency and questionable methodology for approval of the RPPs and the agreed terms and conditions settled in favour of the plant owners were removed from the presentation. After the presentation in which all ADB criticism was simply glossed, a Federal Minister was heard giving remarks With such an ADB Report, the government does not have to be on the defensive anymore. The cabinet was informed that the ADB report had recognised and acknowledged that Implementation of eight RPPs (1156 MW) be vigorously pursued as per contracts for the realisation of maximum benefit of investment made. The thrust of the report is for continuation of the eight RPPs solely to protect the billions of rupees the government of Pakistan has already forked out on these projects. It the presentation it was also told while referring to the report, There would be no power tariff impact of RPPs in the financial year 2010. And this was also discussed as per the ADB reports finding that there is a need for energy security with a balance between affordability and demand - supply options and loadshedding. It was also stated in the presentation that ADB had reported Even addition of 14 RPPs is not likely to eliminate the loadshedding completely beyond 2012. The sources said that only those points were raised during the presentation that could have helped in getting approval for the RPPs. For example, the report actually said, The addition of even 14 RPPs would not eliminate the loadshedding. Overall, the rental service agreements are weak in their legal structure; they do not balance the risk sharing between the seller and the buyer and have many inconsistencies. None of these points was informed to the cabinet, the sources said. About tariff impact, the report has stated that it would introduced from 2011 because these plants will start working by that time, the sources said. The original contents of the report also stated, Had the revised arrangements been taken to the market, the government would have gotten better terms. This, combined with the acceptance of unsolicited bids, diluted the transparency, competition and equal treatment that an international competitive bidding process is intended to ensure. The cabinet presentation concealed all such findings which were a hit on the efficiency of the Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and they refer to his involvement in making such deals, the sources said. The ADB report also stated Contrary to the rules, Gencos (generation companies) did not obtain approval from Nepra of terms of the contract before signing. By applying for approval after signing a contract and when project is advanced it is forcing Nepras hand and also raises question of transparency, encroachment on Nepras mandate to ensure affordable and sustainable power supply. All such serious observations on lack of transparency were summarised in the cabinet report that ADB recommends removing inconsistency in contracts if legally and contractually possible, the sources said. The report also exposed the irregularities adopted in the procurement process stating Change in downpayment post receipt of bids is the major change in financial term and contrary to good procurement practice and there should have been re-tendering on the changed conditions. This was also not told to the cabinet members, the sources said. The above-mentioned point clearly refers to the bad procurement practices adopted by Raja Pervaiz and his team, the sources maintained. The ADB report also stated that all the agreements were in favour of sellers and the buyers were totally neglected in this regard. These points also were not told to the cabinet, the sources said and added that these points must have been told the members so that they could know the original picture of the assigned projects. A participant of the cabinet meeting, who is also familiar with the ADB report, said that it was an outright deception made to the cabinet on such important and sensitive matters. The civil servant, however, explained that the same used to happen during President Musharafs time when the presentations were made to get approval of projects in the same manner that Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and the current bureaucracy have adopted.