ISLAMABAD -   A Parliamentary Committee yesterday directed the government not to pass on the losses of Nandipur power project to the consumers.

The Sub-Committee of the Senate's Standing Committee on Water and Power met here with Nauman Wazir Khattak in the chair observed that the consumers should not be burdened with the losses incurred due to delay in the completion of power projects.

Chairman Committee said that that the then Law Minister was responsible for around three years delay in the completion of Nandipur project which caused approximately Rs 36 billion loss to the national exchequer.

The meeting of the Sub-Committee was attended by Senator Nisar Muhammad Khan and Muhammad Daud Khan Achakzai, Director General NAB Attiq-ur-Rehman, officials of Water and Power and Nandipur power project.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Director General informed the Committee that the Nandipur Power Project, which was launched in 2008, was still incomplete despite lapse of nine years.

Attiq-ur-Rehman said that in the original PC-1 total cost of the project was Rs 22.335 billion, which in the revised one was raised to Rs 58.416 billion, thus incurring a loss of Rs 36.08 billion.

He said that after conducting special audit of the Nandipur project, the Auditor General had calculated loss of Rs 36 billion in terms of cost escalated mainly due to prolonged holding of legal opinion by the Ministry of Law and Justice for foreign credit facilities, which could not be utilised for timely clearance of plant equipment from ports.

The DG NAB further said that the agreement for Nandipur Power Project was signed between Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) and Chinese company Zong Fong Electric Corporation in January 2008, under which the latter was paid 10 per cent of the project's cost as down payment.

The project was to be completed in 2011 and before commencing the work on the project, the Chinese firm had sought a legal opinion of Ministry of Water and Power, he said.

A summary in that regard was forwarded to the Ministry in 2010 during the PPP government, he added.

But the summary remained pending on the table of the then Law Minister Dr Babar Awan till 2012, he said.

The President of the Chinese company made a strong protest with the Government of Pakistan for delaying the project, Attiq-ur-Rehman maintained.

The NAB DG said heavy machinery and equipment for the project had arrived at the Karachi port in 2010 and remained dumped there in the open for almost two years, turning into Scrape due to rusting.

The Chinese company, he said, then demanded $85 million as compensation for the machinery, which it alleged, got rusted due to negligence of the Pakistani authorities.

However, the then government refused to pay the amount to the firm as the rusted equipment and machinery were of no use, he added.

Director General NAB said that in 2013, negotiations were held between the high-ups Ministry of Water and Power and executives of the Chinese company and as a result of which Zong Fong Corporation started work on the project.

The machinery, which had become out of order due to use of substandard oil, was made useable again, he added.

The Committee showed displeasure on NAB officials for delay in finalising the inquiry report on Nandipur power project and said that the case was forwarded to them in 2013 but they didn’t make any progress so far.

The Judicial Commission has pointed out the increase of Rs 113 billion to the cost of the project and holds the Ministry of Law responsible for the delay.

The Committee asked the Ministry of Water and Power that the Ministry has earned 17 per cent from the power generation project where is the money gone?. Whether it was used in paying the circular debts or somewhere else.

The Committee directed the NAB to submit its report within two months and called the officials of Ministry of Law and Justice to attend its next meeting.

Senator Nisar said that the irregularities and corruption in Nandipur project have caused losses to the national exchaqer.

He said that all the responsible people must be arrested.

The Committee asked for the past six month record of the power generation of the Nandipur project.

It was informed by the officials of the Nandipur Project that currently the plant is running on 19 per cent capacity.

The Committee also directed the Ministry of Water and Power to submit their recommendation regarding the implementation of the Energy Mix planning on priority basis.