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LAHORE: The Senate Standing Committee on Power has directed the Power Division to reinstate the criteria for the appointment of managing director (MD) of National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) including the cut off age limit of 62 years instead of 58 years as given in the advertisement for hiring of new MD.

The Board has further directed the Power Division to ask Board of Directors (BoD) of NTDC about the basis on which it had issued the said advertisement with the age limit of 58 years. It may be noted that senior management of NTDC has also sought amendment in the advertisement through a letter to the Board, asking for changing/adding the category of Electric Engineering in Bachelor and Master’s degree besides enhancing the upper age limit of the applicants to 62 years. This condition is exclusionary in its very nature, they observed.

Sources from within the company have pointed out that traditionally no power distribution company (Disco) has ever specified the age limit and the purpose of specifying it for the post of MD NTDC is to exclude all the experienced general managers (GMs) out of the race. They said the Senate committee on power has also rejected selection process and ordered secretary PD to release new advertisement which has been ignored altogether.

It is worth noting that a parallel advertisement for the appointment of new chairman Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has also not specified any age limit. However, the cutting off the age limit to 58 years for new MD NTDC has raised many eyebrows within the power sector. There is no bar of age limit in Discos and NTDC, as they are governed by the Companies Ordinance. However, the Supreme Court has specified the cut off age of 65 years for re-employment of a civil servant. Therefore, said sources, the Board of NTDC should follow the apex court in case it is interested to specify cut off age limit instead of lowering it down to 58 years to accommodate their blue-eyed person.

One may recall that the power sector had witnessed a few appointments from outside the sector, including Naveed Ismail as CEO of Genco Holding, Hammad Hashmi for Genco-II/CPGCL, Rehan Hamid as CEO Hesco, Fayyaz Ch and Azaz Ahmed as MD NTDC but none of them could complete his tenure because of little experience of working in the sector.

Meanwhile, some 42 members had been inducted to the boards of directors of all the 10 Discos during the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which has led to multiple problems for their managements. Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir had recently stated that the performance of all the boards would be evaluated before making changes, as Discos are facing problems in procurement of material because of undue delays on the part of their boards.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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