ISLAMABAD - Transparency International, exposing governance of PTI-led provincial government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has pointed out irregularities worth billions of rupees in the award of tenders of 365 micro-hydel power projects that the provincial government intended to install in various areas to overcome the energy crisis.
The anti-corruption watchdog, in a letter written by to Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, has asked him to intervene as contracts worth Rs 5 billion for establishing micro-hydel power projects are being awarded to the favourites in violation of the KP Public Procurement Rules. Transparency International has reported a classic case showing how favourites are being awarded multi-billion rupees contracts by the KP government while Imran Khan’s PTI keeps portraying “all is well” picture before the public, in general, and PTI supporters, in particular. In a letter written by TI-Pakistan Chairman Sohail Muzaffar to CM Pervaiz Khattak on May 17, he has raised the issue of violation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwah Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Act, 2012, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwah Public Procurement of Goods, Works and Services Rules, 2014, in Pakhtunkhwah Hydel Development Organisation (Phydo), Peshawar, in the award of tender worth Rs 5 billion for installation of 356 micro-hydel power plants. The allegations against Phydo have been levelled by Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET), a department of the federal government.
As per the allegations, a tender for construction, installation and operation of 356 mini and micro hydel plants in KP was floated in January this year. Some 18 participants, including PCRET, were shortlisted by the KP government. The Phydo has been trying to avoid the sound bidders apparently to adjust the favourites, but when it was compelled to open the tenders, the venue of the meeting was changed dramatically. Latter, on March 26, 2014, when the documents of one of the favourites were found incomplete, the energy secretary produced the firm’s surety bonds which had expired ninety days ago.
Despite getting into the awkward position, the support for the favourites was not withdrawn. The tender went in favour of PCRET, but it was cancelled for unknown reasons.
Later, a new tender was floated with a change just to keep PCRET out of the process. But PCRET participated in the process after entering into a partnership with an NGO.
The reason of cancelling all the tenders, and inviting the tenders again is just to oust PCRET from the process as the energy secretary knew that it is the lowest bidder and has availed itself of the SRO 827 (I)/ 2001 F. No. 1 (10) /2001-WTO issued by Ministry of Commerce for waiver of earnest money for government to government tender. “During the financial bid opening meeting on May 9, 2014, PCRET’s bid has not been opened and our representative was disgraced by Zain Ullah Shah, chief planning officer, Energy Department,” the letter said. The chief planning officer was of the view that they do not follow PPRA rules and have their own rules in KP, the letter stated. “The Phydo and the energy secretary know well that PCRET’s participation as a government department cannot be of any use and no benefits can be obtained from it, so they are playing with the project using their own rules and changing the evaluation criterion,” the TI letter alleged.
“After examining the allegations, prima facie, it appears that this procurement is a case of an irregularity, liable for action to be taken by NAB under NAO 1999,” the Transparency International letter to the KP CM says.
“In view of the above, the chief minister is requested to take immediate measures to stop the award of this project, conduct an inquiry and order the authorities to invite tenders again if the allegations are found correct, which shall fully comply with KP Public Procurement of Goods, Works and Services Rules, 2014. He should also take action against all those found involved in corrupt, fraudulent or collusive practices,” the TI letter asserted.