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Bidding for QASPL privatization delayed

(Web Desk) – Punjab government, amid ongoing NAB investigation and audit objections by AGPR, has delayed the bidding process of Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Ltd. (QASPL) and new bid dates will be communicated later to pre-qualified bidders.

In a communication to the pre-qualified bidders last week, Punjab Privatization Board (PPB) informed them that the PPB has resolved to extend the bid date and new submission date for earnest money and bid date will be communicated to all pre-qualified bidders in due course.

It is pertinent to mention that Punjab Privatization Board (PPB) in an email to interested parties last month asked them to submit their Earnest Money (along with application form, copies of Competition Commission of Pakistan and other approvals required by bidders for the transaction and other documents) by 9th April 2018.

As per media reports, privatization experts had advised the government to delay the privatization process till the investigation into various illegalities by Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is completed to give the clear picture about company to investors.

Moreover, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar also took notice and summoned details pertaining to the solar plant’s costs, production and expenditures.

It is worth mentioning here that Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power (Pvt.) Limited is a public-sector for-profit company established by the Government of the Punjab as the first ever utility scale solar power plant in the country in 2013 which commenced commercial operation in 2015. PPB approved the privatization of 100 MW portion of QASPL owned by Punjab government in July 2017 and initiated the bidding process, however, AGP has found various illegalities in the commencement and operation of the company and its various processes which were presented in the report of audit conducted for the period 2013-2017, raising questions on viability of privatizing the entity in current situation. Moreover, NAB also wrote letter to CEO QASPL on 16 January 2018 for provision of information to conduct the inquiry into alleged embezzlement of billions of rupees in awarding various contracts.

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