ISLAMABAD: As the government is reluctant to share the actual cost of Nandipur project, the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue has decided to probe the controversial power project by calling the relevant authorities. "The meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue will be called soon which would review the cost of the Nandipur project," said Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, chairman Senate's committee.

“Nandipur Power Project is the failure of present government and the Senate's body has decided to conduct its financial audit through Auditor General of Pakistan,” he added.

"It is the prime responsibility of AGPR to reveal the total cost and truth about the Nandipur project to the people," remarked Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, who has also been a finance minister. Mandviwalla said that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would not remain silent on the national issues and will raise the Nandipur project in the ongoing session of Senate for discussion. He also criticised the policies of present government saying it had failed to end loadshedfing from the country.

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During the last two and half years, government was befooling the people on mega power projects but in reality nothing had been materialised.

It is worth mentioning here that controversy over the cost of the Nandipur project has been deepening with the passage of time. The media reports suggested that cost of the project has been increased to Rs83 billion as against revised cost of Rs58 billion and initial estimate of Rs23 billion. However, Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif claimed that a sum of Rs58 billion had been allocated for Nandipur power project and claims about allocation of Rs 81 billion for the project were untrue.

Prime Minister has already taken notice of the controversy and ordered audit of the Nandipur Power Project amid allegations of corruption.

Acting upon the prime minister's orders, the Ministry of Water and Power has written a letter to the auditor general asking him to conduct the audit with three terms of reference. The Ministry of Water and Power has directed the auditor general of Pakistan to conduct the audit keeping in view reason behind the increasing cost of the project, amount that had been spent so far and whether the board, administration of the project and the contractor fulfilled their responsibilities.

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Apart from cost issue, the Nandipur project has been non-operational, which worried the top officials of the PML-N government. Ministry of Water and Power had already sought an explanation from the managing director of the project over his failure to run the project. The government wants to make the project operational at any cost, which will produce 425-525 megawatt electricity.