NAB probing SSGCL acquisition of bank defaulter

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has initiated an inquiry into lease, liquidation and purchase of bank defaulter Progas company assets by the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) management, which entered into a over $500 million deal without considering colossal financial blow to the national kitty. On the directives of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif the federal watchdog has kicked off investigation against the official of SSGCL who managed the purchase of Progas in connivance with its chief executive, Abass Haider Bilgrami, without any due diligence, sources confided to Daily Times on Sunday. According to sources the Progas assets were purchased in 2011 by the SSGCL management while ignoring the fact that in 2010 the owner of the Progas had served a legal notice on the federation of Pakistan. In its legal notice the company, through its lawyers, has alleged that the government in contravention of its promises of de-regulation of the LPG sector, the government and its regulator, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) intervened to manipulate LPG pricing for the advantage of local LPG companies, the sources added. Similarly, the legal notice alleged that Pakistan has taken measures that have in effect destroyed the Progas companies’ investment, through measures having effect equivalent to nationalisation or expropriation. It also added that Pakistan has failed to accord the Progas companies investment. In order to fix the responsibility on culprits involved in the scam of Pro gas assets purchase the federal watchdog summoned Dr.Anwar Ali Sehto a star witness of OGRA multi-billion scam and he has provided documentary evidences to the bureau against SSGCL official and Pro gas chief executive sources added. According to reports, the SSGCL management purchased the Pro Gas assets as sole bidder and paid 2.5 billion to the banks which have the decree against it as a defaulter gas company while accepting the self tailored evaluation by the Pro Gas owners that the value of company assets is around Rs: 6 billion against secured and unsecured liabilities of Rs 2 billion in May 2011 the sources further said.

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Aaj Kal