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LAHORE: The National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) Board of Directors and its committees have held over 150 meetings in nearly nine months during the outgoing year costing Rs 150 million to the exchequer, said sources.

The meeting fee of each BoD member has been increased to Rs 60,000 from earlier Rs 28,000 while majority of the decisions taken during these meetings have proved highly controversial and malafide, and various quarters are seeking forensic scrutiny of the same.

According to the sources, the bureaucrats from the power division, attending these meetings, have also made roughly around Rs1.5 to 2 million just on account of so-called meeting fee.

It may be noted that the Senate Standing Committee on Power Chairman Saif Ullah Abro has desired from the power division to provide details related to newly-appointed members of BoDs along with their expenditure and number of meetings held till date.

Accordingly, a letter dated 23rd December 2021 has been forwarded to all the concerned entities of the power sector to furnish the information for the Senate body. Copy of the letter is available with Business Recorder.

Reliable sources have confided further that while furnishing the figures, the tax amount is hided to show less expenditure on meeting fees. This tax is paid on behalf of these members. Also, they added, the number of each BoD has been doubled to original size during the tenure of former Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Power Tabish Gohar.

They said the BoDs installed by Tabish Gohar in league with MD PEPCO Mussadaq A. Khan Tahirkheli are not only controversial but also have severe conflict of interest. The power division advertised for nomination of Directors of BoDs of power sector entities and lot of applications were received but none of them was considered. In a Senate hearing, the additional secretary in front of the committee lied that there is no procedure of advertisement whereas the advertisements are on record, said the sources, adding the misquoted fact is recorded in the minutes of Senate Committee on Power.

The sources said micro issues are being handled by these BoDs in their meetings while a lot of decisions remain legally controversial and against the spirit of corporate governance. Above all, they said, the Company Secretary of NTDC was also drawing Rs 10,000 per meeting of BoD and its sub-committee.

The NTDC thrice advertised for the post of company secretary and interviews were held by the HR Committee and complete BoD in numerous meetings but no one was selected and the process was scrapped. Same has been for the interviews of DMD AD& M. Interviews were carried out in March and a number of meetings held but no results have been announced till date.

Meanwhile, well-placed sources have also shared a copy of letter dated 28th December with this scribe suggesting that the cabinet secretary would extend hearing to a petitioner against selection of Naveed Ismail as chairman NTDC BoD for purposefully withholding the information regarding his removal from the position of CEO Genco Holding Company in 2013 on the basis of dereliction in duties while applying for and on being nominated on the Board as its chairman.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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