PAC directs investigation into appointment of ex-MD Nandipur power project

Islamabad: Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Thursday decided to investigate a Punjab government officer responsible for managing the operations of the cash-bleeding Nandipur power project.

Nandipur power project has been a burden on the national exchequer since its inception and caused an astronomical loss of Rs9b alone in 2016, reported a local newspaper.

Officer being investigated by PAC is said to have not run the project professionally, and its head Syed Khursheed Shah instructed the power division secretary to discover the reasons behind the appointment of Muhammad Mehmood as Managing Director of Nandipur power project.

Mehmood is a District Management Group officer and is said to have had no technical or professional abilities to run the Nandipur power plant.

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His appointment came up for deliberation due to an audit object that emphasized Rs9.1b in losses during 2015-16 because of less electricity generation against installed capacity of plant.

Nandipur generated only 1.32b units of electricity during 2015-16 against its generational capability of 2.23b units a year.

The power plant was said to have generated less electricity as a result of installation of low capacity furnace oil treatment plant, which Power Division Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar said had now been converted to gas and hence solved.

PAC was told Mehmood was now as serving as Secretary of Punjab Agriculture Department and Shah said after ruining Nandipur power project, now the former would also destroy the agricultural sector of Punjab.

Mehmood was hired in contravention of the laid-down rules and finance ministry had given him a project allowance of 1600pc above what was allowed.

Additional Secretary PAC informed Shah that NAB Lahore regional office had concluded its enquiry and a report had been sent to its headquarters to file a reference in an accountability court.

The NAB Lahore region office has completed its investigation and sent a report to the NAB headquarters for filing a reference in an accountability court, the additional secretary of PAC informed the chairman.

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