ISLAMABAD - Despite Supreme Court’s verdict to recover an amount of $223.58 million wasted for Rental Power Plants (RPPs), National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seems helpless against any sponsor and private owner of the RPPs, as it has yet to recover more than Rs 20 billion from powerful owners and defaulters of RPPs, sources told The Nation on Monday.

The SC had directed NAB to investigate into the matter and recover the amount from the sponsors and fix the responsibility on the state functionaries who misused their authorities in the installation of RPPs and allowed the agreements, which were not in the favour of government of Pakistan, the sources added.

When contacted, Mohammad Bilal Khan, a NAB spokesman, said the case was under investigation and the accountability body would try its best to recover the amount as early as possible. He further said the bureau was anxiously awaiting for the appointment of its chairman as it would expedite the investigation process.

According to details, 12 cases regarding RPPs were referred by the SC to the NAB for probe but after passing almost 18 months the bureau could only file one interim reference in accountability court against nine accused of RPPs. The accused include Shahid Rafi former secretary ministry of water and power, Sheikh Zarrar Aslam, former additional secretary power, Engineer Tahir Basharat Cheema, ex-MD and CEO Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO), Muhammad Razi Abbass, ex-member PEPCO board of directors, Wazir Ali Bhayo, ex-member PEPCO board of directors, Rana Muhammad Amjad, ex-GM WPPO, Tariq Nazir, CEO/director Central Power Generation Company Limited (CPGCL), Abdul Malik Memon, ex-CEO/director CPGCL, and Rasool Khan Mehsud, ex-MD PEPCO, the sources said.

The investigation against aforementioned accused was conducted by several investigators of NAB who have collected evidence against the accused persons, the sources said. According to details, Shahid Rafi illegally allowed processing of unsolicited proposal in violation of PPRA Rules 2004 and obtained its approval from ECC through misleading the facts, the sources said. The said accused failed to exercise his authority while giving the undue benefit to the sponsors of RPPs by allowing shifting of machinery without having approval from competent authority even though the GM (WAPDA) Power Privatisation Organisation (WPPO) on May 7, 2010 conveyed the decision of PEPCO and CPGCL Board of Directors (BOD) that the company’s request for shifting of machinery was unwarranted and could not be granted to but the said accused granted undue benefit to the sponsor while accepting proposal that was not in the favour of government of Pakistan, the sources disclosed.

Similarly, the accused Zarar Aslam wilfully allowed processing of unsolicited proposal in violation of PPRA Rules and obtained the approval from ECC through misleading facts and he observed misuse of authority while giving undue favour to RPP sponsor by violating rules of business through non circulation of agenda of Power Private Infrastructure Board (PPIB) meeting and accepting proposal not favourable to the government, the sources said.

In the same way, Engineer Tahir Basharat Cheema illegally allowed processing of unsolicited proposal in violation of PPRA Rules and misused his authority to authorise signing of Rental Services Contract on March 4, 2010 while exercising undue influence on government officials in violation of NEPRA rules and directives, and failed to exercise his authority while allowing shifting of machinery without getting approval from the competent authority, the sources added.

The accused Malik Muhammad Razi Abbass did not adhere to the NEPRA rules and directives and failed to exercise his authority while giving undue benefit to RPPs sponsors by allowing shifting of machinery without getting approval from competent authority, the sources added.

The accused Wazir Ali Bhayo did not adhere to the PEPCO Board of Directors’ decision and NEPRA rules. The accused failed to exercise his authority while giving the undue favour to RPPs sponsors by allowing shifting of machinery without prior permission from the competent authority, the sources said. Similarly, the accused Tariq Nazir wilfully processed unsolicited proposal in violation of PPRA Rules 2004 and misused his authority by signing of RSC without approval of CPGCL board of directors. He accepted undue influence from managing director PEPCO and others while committing violation of NEPRA rules and directives and granted undue favour to the sponsor while accepting the proposal that was not favourable to the government, the sources added.

Rana Muhammad Amjad wilfully allowed processing of unsolicited proposal in violation of PPRA Rules 2004 and misused his authority by exercising undue influence on MD PEPCO and others for signing of RSC in violation of NEPRA rules and directives and wilfully failed to adhere to the PEPCO board of directors’ decision while preparing the working papers in violation of rules. The accused miserably failed to exercise his authority while giving undue benefit to the sponsors of RPPs by allowing the shifting of machinery, the sources added.

The NAB investigators are investigating on 12 different RPPs projects on different locations, while these plants were owned by different sponsors and owners, the sources revealed. More than 50 individuals and officials of different distribution companies, ministries and PEPCO are placed on exit control list (ECL) to avoid their escape from Pakistan, the sources said.