NEPRA denies NAB access to tariff consultant

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  • ‘NAB had sought tariff consultant’s assistance for investigation against those IPPs that earn abnormal profits’

ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has refused to attach the services of its tariff consultant with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which has been conducting an inquiry against those independent power producers (IPPs) that were earning abnormal profits, it was learnt on Wednesday.

Well-informed sources in the power sector disclosed that NEPRA has refused to attach the services of its Consultant (Tariff) Salman Amin despite an immediate request made by NAB Lahore on May 31, 2019.

They alleged that NEPRA not only declined to attach the services of its consultant with NAB but also ended Amin’s service contract on June 3, only four days after the issuance of NAB’s request.

The sources further alleged that NEPRA had relieved Salman Amin from his service apparently to save the skins of its officials, “as they are allegedly involved in awarding high electricity tariffs to IPPs on false and fraudulent information/documents, which resulted in high prices of electricity and caused colossal losses to national exchequer”.

It is pertinent to mention that NAB Lahore had sought the services of NEPRA’s tariff consultant immediately for three months. Salman Amin was supposed to assist the bureau’s Combined Investigation Team (CIT).

“NAB Lahore had also asked NEPRA to advise its officer to report to CIT IW-II at NAB Complex, Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore, by June 10, 2019,” sources said, adding that NAB had sought the services from NEPRA under Section 27 of National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

NAB Lahore, currently engaged in conducting an inquiry against the high profits of some IPPs, had already arrested former NEPRA director general Syed Insaf Ahmed on June 10 over allegations of misuse of authority, grants of Rs8.3 billion to an IPP through dishonest practices.

Similarly, this year, the apex court had taken a suo motu notice of excessive payments made to IPPs. The case was forwarded to NAB for further probe.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, during the recent high-level meetings held in the PM House, had directed the Power Division to take serious action against the exorbitant payments/profits ($1billion annual) in the power sector.

Sources alleged that NEPRA had approved higher tariffs in the power sector owing to the alleged pressure of the previous governments, ministries etc., which resulted in heavy payments to the IPPs.

“After the arrest of former NEPRA DG, more arrests of NEPRA officials are likely in near future, as NAB is tightening its noose around those who were involved in awarding higher tariff to various companies of the power sector in the past,” they added.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Salman Amin was working as consultant tariff in NEPRA. His contract ended on June 2, 2019. The Authority however decided not to renew his contract on the basis of his poor performance, and concealment of facts while presenting the cases to the Authority. It’s not because that he was helping the beauru, for helping the beauru first someone should understand the computation of electricity tariff, and it’s beyond the capacity of Mr. Amin.
    Secondly the NEPRA AUTHORITY also not extended the contracts of two other consultants i.e. Hydro and Monitoring and enforcement, and they were not attached to the beauru.
    If the NAB needs the services of Mr. Amin, they can hire him.
    And please also enquire about the written warnings issued to Mr. Amin on giving false information regarding power sector on different forums.
    Spread the truth, not which you are directed to Mr. WRITER.

  2. The writer implies that the service of Consultant has been ended by NEPRA because NAB had required his services. It is beyond understanding that how can any organization (especially in public sector) suddenly ends the contract of any of its employee merely because NAB has asked for his services. His job would not have been continued as probably his contract might have been expired. If his services have been ceased on the request of NAB then it gives a strong case to that employee to go for litigation.

    The writer hints that Consultant was not attached with NAB by NEPRA to save the skin of its officials. I believe professional of different organizations are attached with NAB to help them understand the workings of that organization. For that purpose, the services of any employee of NEPRA (well versed) can be provided. In fact, this statement of the writer proves that NEPRA rightfully not attached the services of Consultant to NAB as he was probably harming NEPRA while being in NEPRA. And if urge by NAB, as hints by writer, for the attachment of that employee only, also indicates quite a lot about the integrity of that employee.

    Please try not to portray that all the organizations are playing a villainous role and NAB is the only protagonist.

  3. If NAB needs his services hire him. HE is free now. One more quesrion why NAB needs services free of cost? Is NAB a begger. Hire what ever it wants instead of begging.

  4. The investigative writer is also requested to investigate the appointment of Mr. Amin in NEPRA as Consultant Tariff and whether he had the required experience and understanding of power sector tariffs and whether now he has the capacity to understand the electricity tariffs and assist the bureau’s Combined Investigation Team (CIT). Further, the writer should also investigate whether his shoulder is being used by Mr. Amin to justify and spread his side of the story for “Mujhy Kyun Nikala.”

  5. NAB should hire a independent expert for the tariffs calculations and should not ask for Amin.Many honest n competent engineers are available like STH Naqvi and others….

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