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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has appointed Amjad Khan as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) for the time being, after several Cabinet members questioned his capability, official sources told Business Recorder.

On July 13, the Power Division apprised the Cabinet that Iesco was one of the ten Distribution Companies (Discos) under the administrative control of Ministry of Energy (Power Division). Iesco was a Public Sector Company (PSC) as defined under Section 2(1) (54) of the Companies Act, 2017 (the Act) and Rule 2(t) (S) of the public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules, 2013 (the CGR).

The matters of appointment of the CEO of a PSC are governed under Sections 187 and 188 of the Act, Rule 5(2) of the CGR and the Public sector companies (Appointment of chief Executive) Guidelines, 2015 (the guidelines).

The Cabinet, in its meeting held on December 15, 2020, approved the terms and conditions for appointment of CEOs of Discos, and accordingly, the BoDs of Discos initiated the process of recruitment. The post of CEO Iesco was advertised on January 17, 2021. A total of 70 candidates applied for the advertised post. The Board evaluated the applications and shortlisted 43 candidates.

The BoD held interviews of the 14 shortlisted candidates and after detailed deliberations, recommended the following panel of three candidates in order of preference for consideration for appointment of one of them against the post of CEO Iesco; (ii) Amjad Khan (first); (ii) Muzzammil Hussain (second) and; (iii) Muhammad Jabbar Khan(third).

Power Division proposed that Mohammad Amjad Khan may be considered for appointment as the CEO Iesco for a period of three years. It further proposed that since, Abdul Razaq, the incumbent CEO Iesco retired from July 02, 202I, Tahir Qazi, the senior most Chief Engineer posted in Iesco may be assigned to look after the work of CEO, Iesco purely on temporary basis till appointment and joining of the new CEO.

Insiders claim that the Board approved and recommended his name as acting CEO of Iesco but the top piloting people in Power Division resisted the Board's decision and did not allow Tahir to enter in the office of CEO Iesco.

During discussion, the Cabinet Members expressed reservations over the quality of the panel and observed that the performance of the principal candidate Amjad Khan, during his stints while heading other Discos, was not very noteworthy.

The Power Division highlighted that the panel had been selected by the newly appointed Board from amongst 70 applicants. An opinion was expressed that such positions should be filled through headhunting as normally, well-qualified candidates did not respond to advertisements.

It was pointed out that this particular position was governed by Corporate Governance Rules and to exercise the headhunting option, the Rules had to be amended just as MP Scales Policy had been amended to provide for headhunting.

A member, while mentioning the lengthy procedure to select headhunting firms, drew attention to his earlier suggestion that Establishment Division should choose a panel of headhunting firms, which could be used by the Ministries/Divisions instead of going through the selection process in every single case.

This, he feared was perhaps not recorded in the minutes. The Cabinet Secretary clarified that this was duly recorded in minutes but the implementation was pending on part of Establishment Division.

Alluding to the planned privatisation of Discos in a year or so, the Power Division requested that for the time being, the recommendation of the Iesco Board may be approved.

The Federal Cabinet accepted the request of the Power Division and approved temporary appointment of Amjad Khan as CEO.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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