ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court on Thursday constituted a committee with directions to probe into alleged corruption in Thar Coal Power Project, initiated by Dr. Samar Mubarakmand.
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) and 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 Rs3.2 billion on the project, it was only generating 8MW of electricity.
Dr Samar Mubarakmand informed the court, they set-up a 100MW plant at a cost of Rs8.8 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.” Dr. added.
He apprised the bench that in the federal budget for 2016-17 did not allocate funds for the project.
He said that in the 2015-2016 financial year, only Rs300 million, from Rs1.2 billion earmarked 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 was completely failed despite spending huge amount on it, who is responsible for this failure, we will conduct an inquiry in it” CJ added.
Meanwhile, Additional Attorney General informed the bench that Thar coal Block One, a project of CPEC will generate 1,320MW of electricity and cost would be $1.9 billion.
Whereas, three other CPEC egro power projects of 660MW are near completion at a cost of $995 million.”
Further, the AAG informed the bench, “Two plants operating on imported coal and generating 1,320MW of electricity have been set-up at Port Qasim and Sahiwal.”
The bench then 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 the investigation into the alleged corruption in the project. “NAB should inform us how the corruption is 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 Rs17 million was being spent on the salaries, in addition to expenses on running the generation plants, residential colony and meeting other expenditures.
Govt. to further strengthen Sino-Pak partnership
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has expressed the govt’s commitment to further strengthen Sino-Pak strategic partnership.
He was addressing Friends of Silk Road Forum organized in honor of visiting Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan here today.
The Foreign Minister said both countries are observing 2019 as a year of mutual relations and it is expected that people to people contacts will reach a new level.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said CPEC has helped to strengthen bilateral relations and take economic and social development to new heights.
He said the CPEC has entered into its second phase which focuses on industrial, social and economic cooperation. He expressed the confidence that Special Economic Zones will pave way for the progress of Pakistan.
Foreign Minister said the government has a special focus on poverty alleviation, industrial development, education, technology, scientific innovation, and agricultural development.
He said both the countries have common thinking of improving the living standard of their people. He hoped that the development target will be achieved by mutually harnessing the capabilities of the two countries.
Foreign Minister paid rich tributes to the services of the Chinese Vice President in promoting the strategic partnership between the two countries.
A relevant piece published earlier:
Pakistan China sign several MoUs
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have signed several MoUs for cooperation in different sectors.
The signing ceremony was held in Islamabad on Sunday which was attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese Vice Prime Minister Wang Qishan.
These MoUs include cooperation in economic and technical affairs, Disaster Management and assistance in the agriculture sector of Lasbella University.
Pakistan and China have agreed to further strengthen strategic cooperation and partnership between the two countries. A delegation level dialogue between the two countries was held in Islamabad on Sunday. Prime Minister Imran Khan led the Pakistan side while Chinese side headed by Vice President Wang Qishan. Talking on the occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan is committed regarding China Pakistan Economic Corridor as this project will help to promote the agriculture, industrial and economic development. On his part, the Chinese Vice President expressed satisfaction over the bilateral relations between the two countries. He said that Pakistan played a commendable role for peace in the region and cooperation with neighboring countries. Both leaders also discussed regional peace and the overall situation in South Asia.
A relevant piece published earlier:
Vice President of China arrives in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD: Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan arrived here today on a three-day official visit to Pakistan.During the visit, the Chinese Vice President will call on President Arif Alvi and have a separate meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan. He will also call on Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The two countries will sign MoUs & agreements and inaugurate projects to enhance bilateral cooperation in a broad range of areas. The visit is expected to reinforce the strength of bilateral ties and impart further impetus to the growing, multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries in diverse fields.
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry (FM) spokesperson has said that Chinese Vice President’s upcoming visit to Pakistan would further deepen high-level exchanges, friendship and mutual trust between the two countries: “Visit will also advance the development of China Pakistan Economic Corridor besides bilateral cooperation across the board,” the Spokesman added.
FM spokesperson reiterated that China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners and iron friends, and firmly support each other on issues concerning each other’s foreign interests. He said Pakistan has been a priority on China’s diplomacy and now both the countries have witnessed a sound momentum in their cooperation and frequent high-level exchanges. He said both the countries are deepening the mutually beneficial cooperation and conducting close coordination in international and regional affairs.
It is pertinent to mention here that VP’s visit is in continuation of high-level exchanges between the two countries, which have acquired an increased momentum since PM Imran Khan’s visit to China in November last year and his participation in the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in April this year.
Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mehmood Qureshi who has received the honored guest has informed that five Memorandums of Understanding would be signed during the visit of the Chinese Vice President. Talking to media here he said the visiting dignitary will also inaugurate some of the projects. FM said an investiture ceremony will also be held in honor of Wang Qishan, where he will be conferred upon an award for his role to promote bilateral ties between Pakistan and China. Qureshi told that Chinese Vice President will also visit historical places in Lahore, where Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar will receive the guest. He said the visit demonstrates the resolve of the two countries in developing and promoting CPEC.