October 11, 2018: Supreme Court of Pakistan has constituted a committee with directions to probe into alleged corruption in Thar Coal Power Project, initiated by Dr. Samar Mubarakmand on Thursday, 11th October.
The apex court also directed concerned to hand over all relevant record of the project to Advocate Salaman Akram Raja, amicus curiae and Prosecutor General of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to conduct an audit of the project.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the suo moto case regarding alleged corruption in Thar coal power project.
During the course of proceedings, it was informed to the bench that by 2015, despite spending more than Rs. 3.2 billion on the project, it was only generating 8 MW of electricity.
Dr. Samar Mubarakmand informed the court that they had set-up a 100MW plant at a cost of Rs. 8.8 billion under a Sindh government’s project which began receiving funding from the federal government in 2012.
“In October 2012, we received funding of Rs900 million and by 2014-15 the plant was generating 8MW.” he added.
He further apprised the bench that the federal budget for 2016-17 did not allocate funds for the project.
He said that in FY15-16, only Rs. 300 million out of Rs. 1.2 billion allocated for the project were released.
“Do not try to praise your project, we want to see what work you have done.” CJ said.
Justice Nisar remarked that the project had completely failed despite huge amount of money spent on it.
Meanwhile, Additional Attorney General informed the bench that Tharcoal Block One, a project of CPEC will generate 1,320MW of electricity and would cost around $1.9 billion.
Whereas three other CPEC Egro power projects of 660MW are near completion at a cost of $995 million.”
Furthermore, the AAG informed the bench that two plants operating on imported coal and generating 1,320MW of electricity have been set-up at Port Qasim and Sahiwal.
The bench subsequently ordered a formation of a committee of experts on energy and scientists to probe alleged corruption in the power project.
The top court also summoned a reply from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) regarding investigation into the alleged corruption in the project. “NAB should inform us how the corruption done in this project can be proven,” the bench stated.
The court also took notice of non-payment of salaries to the project’s employees.
Around 250 people were employed in the project at the time and a majority of them lived in the project’s colony in Islamkot taluka of Tharparkar district. A sum of up to Rs. 17 million was being spent on the salaries, in addition to expenses on running the generation plants, residential colony and meeting other expenditures.