LAHORE - Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) has held the prime minister, his water minister and secretary, and the whole team of Nandipur Project responsible for the problems and the burden this power project has caused to the national exchequer.

TIP head Adil Gillani told this scribe that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had been asked by TIP to fix the responsibility for loss of billions of rupees, alleging the government awarded two unsolicited contracts and deliberately delayed the project.

He said that despite a number of reminders about the irregularities, the government remained unmoved and no action was taken against the responsible. He said as per National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Act negligence also falls in category of corruption.

Mr Gillani said the government had been warned that the cost of the project was likely to cross Rs60 billion due to currency fluctuations.

The PML-N government had requested the Transparency International to review the revised PC-1 of Nandipur Project. The watchdog in its report, sent by TIP Chairman Sohail Muzaffar to the water and power minister, advised against awarding any contract without tendering.

TIP chief said that PPRA rules were violated and it was observed that the ministry awarded the EPC contract without inviting tenders against the ECC decision (dated 27-12-2007) that provisions of Public Procurement Rules-2004 should be kept in view in the bidding process.

Nandipur Power Project is a 425MW (with potential of 1,000 MW) combined cycle thermal power plant situated at Nandipur near Gujranwala. Being constructed by the China Dongfang Electric Corporation, the project was completed in March 2015.

The estimated cost of the project was Rs23 billion ($574 million) when it was announced, which according to the government, escalated to Rs57.38 billion due to delay and negligence of the previous (PPP) government. However it is claimed by some other quarters and opposition parties that the actual cost reached upto Rs84 billion.