Government was being severely criticized for the failure of Nandipur power project as it was not being delivered as per the plan. Ministry of water and power was holding management responsible for the failure. It was indeed a tragedy that power plant remained idle despite massive cost overruns. Government first celebrated success of the project while advertising it in a massive campaign in print and electronic media. After criticism they called for audit of the project to know what went wrong. While all opposition parties, particularly PTI criticized the outcome of the project and termed the project a fiasco.
On Wednesday while addressing to press conference Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif termed the report of Auditor General of Pakistan in favour of government which gave clean chit on the Nandipur power project. Audit report states there is no cost overrun or misappropriation in the project’s financial affairs. But AGP report raised questions on the appointment of managing director and awarding project to a blacklisted company. It is pertinent to mention that national exchequer faced loss of Rs12 billion because of the plant’s shutdown for three months. Minister held out an assurance that responsibility will be fixed and errant officials will be proceeded against.
He also said that government was planning to convert the project to gas to reduce its generation tariff. Was it hard to understand on the initial stages of the project that how to reduce generation tariff? The government had initiated two separate audits by the AGP and the Ferguson firm. The AGP’s audit has been completed, while Ferguson’s is still under way. Despite claims of fairness in the project, incumbent government must put serious efforts to investigate loopholes in the project so lessons should be learnt for future projects.
Government must find out all the loopholes in the project to not repeat mistakes in future projects.