ISLAMABAD    -    The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday said that a news item published in a section of press about Bureau’s questions on power tariff of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) was absolutely baseless, concocted and a pack of lies.

A spokesman for the Bureau clarified that NAB Lahore was conducting only one inquiry into illegal and fraudulent payments allegedly made by the NEPRA officials to MS Nishat Chunian Pvt. Ltd in violation of the power purchase agreement signed between the government and the company. 

“These alleged fraudulent payments were made on the basis of false, deceptive and misleading information provided by the company at the time of determination of tariff,” he added.  The spokesman further said the inquiry did not challenge any provision of the agreement reached between the government and the company. “Rather it focuses only on the alleged violations of the agreement,” he explained.

“Thus NAB has not interfered in the policy matters of the government or actions of NEPRA officials regarding execution of the agreement with the said company,” the spokesman clarified.

He added the accused were trying to hush up their alleged offences by creating an impression that NAB was challenging the agreement executed by NEPRA.  The spokesman reiterated that NAB inquiry was only focused on violations of the agreement by the company and the role of some NEPRA officials in allowing the company to receive illegal payments.

He said it was astonishing to learn that in 2012-2013, NEPRA itself wrote two letters to MS Nishat Chunian Private Ltd, clearly stating that the said company had received illegal payments on the basis of false and deceptive information.  “This proves beyond any doubt that NEPRA believed even then that a criminal offence had been committed, resulting in unimaginable financial loss to the state exchequer on account of fraudulent payments made to the said company,” the spokesman said, and added, “As per the power purchase agreement, the company was allowed to charge only 15 percent return on equity in electricity tariff.