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ISLAMABAD: Power Division and Board of Directors (BoD) of National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) are said to have locked horns on the selection of Managing Director of the Company, sources close to MD NTDC told Business Recorder.

The Board wants to appoint Azaz Ahmed as Managing Director of NTDC who is demanding a salary package of $ 15,000 per month but the Power Division pointed out that according to the Rules, the Board has to recommend three names not one; and reportedly favours a member of the Federal Public Service Commission. NTDC’s Board initiated the recruitment process for the post of Managing Director NTDCL as per the Companies Act. 2017, the Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules, 2013 (amended from time to time) and Public Sector Companies (Appointment of Chief Executive) Guidelines, 2015. Advertisement for the post of Managing Director, NTDC was published by BoD NTDCL on April 21, 2020.

In response to the advertisement, a total of 47 applications were received. After screening 19 eligible candidates were shortlisted for the interview process. A total of 15 candidates (4 candidates were absent) were interviewed by the Board of NTDC on December 07, 2020 and December 08.12.2020. All candidates were evaluated as per fit and proper criteria prescribed under the Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules, 2013 (amended in 2017) and Public Sector Companies (Appointment of Chief Executive) Guidelines, 2015.

The Board of Directors of NTDCL in its 178th meeting dated October 14, 2020 unanimously resolved to recommend the following four candidates in order of merit for the concurrence of federal government: (i) Azaz Ahmed; (ii) Mujahid Pervaiz Chattha; (iii) Maj Gen Muhammad Azeem Asif (retd); and (iv) Mujahid Islam Bila.

Thereafter, the Board authorized the Board Negotiation Committee to negotiate the overall salary package with the above recommended candidates. The Board Negotiation Committee noted that Azaz Ahmed demanded $ 15,000 per month salary which is “too high” compared to the market trend. The other three candidates have sought MP-I Pay Scale (maximum) along with all the perks and benefits.

On February 17, 2021, during a cabinet meeting, a suggestion came that a member of FPSC should be appointed as MD NTDC. However, SAPM pointed out that any member of FPSC is not eligible for reemployment under the provisions of FPSC Ordinance 1977. The Minister for PDS&I suggested the Cabinet to negotiate salary package with candidates and urged selecting people with high professional capabilities and international experience.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on IR&A, Dr Ishrat Hussain said there was a provision in MP Scale Policy to give maximum salary incentives, if the candidate is highly qualified and has experience in internationally reputed organizations. The Prime Minister also suggested getting the best of the best professionals as a matter of principle and never to compromise on quality.

After a detailed discussion, the Cabinet did not approve the proposal with the direction to Power Division to resubmit the summary to the Cabinet in one week after getting the newly constituted Board's recommendations about the proposed candidates.

The newly-constituted NTDC Board, headed by Naveed Ismail, a former CEO KE, unanimously found Azaz Ahmed as the most suitable candidate and decided to recommend his name as MD NTDC.

However, Power Division’s summary section 5 of the Federal Public Service Commission Act, 1973 states that “on ceasing to hold office a member shall not be eligible for further employment in the service of Pakistan.”

Power Division noted that since Azeem Asif has been a member of the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), it has already sought views from the Ministry of Law and Justice as to whether employment in NTDC meets the definition of “Service of Pakistan”. The opinion of Ministry of Law and Justice states that employment in NTDC is not service of Pakistan.

According to the Power Division, in terms of rule-5(2) of the Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) rules, 2013 (amended in 2017) the BoD is mandated to recommend at least three individuals to the government for appointment as the Chief Executive/Managing Director of the Public Sector Company. On receiving concurrence of the government, the Board shall appoint the CE/MD in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021