PEPCO begins inquiry into Rs350m scam

Tribune

Pakistan Electric Power Company (Private) Limited (Pepco) has initiated an inquiry into the conduct of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) officials who are allegedly involved in embezzlement of Rs350 million by making excessive payments to contractors in two dozen contracts.
Auditors had held responsible Iesco Project Director Chaudhry Shoukat Ali along with five other officials for the scam. They all were electrical engineers, but they dealt with civil works and caused a heavy loss to the company by providing benefit to the contractors.
A senior government official told The Express Tribune that Pepco had taken notice of the embezzlement in Iesco and initiated an inquiry.
The public power utility had suffered a loss of Rs128 million because of installation of poor quality pipes along the route of Metro bus project. The company recorded a loss of Rs222 million in 23 other contracts in which the project director allegedly showed favour to the contractors who used poor quality material.
The auditors noted that the general manager had recommended the use of high-quality pipes, but the project director allowed installation of poor-quality PVC pipes.
The auditors concluded that the embezzled money should be recovered from the contractors and responsibility should be fixed on the officials involved in the scam.
During the scrutiny of record, the auditors found that Rs53.9 million had been embezzled due to unnecessary expenditure on the construction of a duct line. They noticed that the contractors received excessive funds for the removal and re-routing of electric cables from the route of Metro bus project.
They found that the shifting of overhead feeders below ground was not considered and money was spent on constructing a big-size duct line, which was against the spirit of the government and Iesco.

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