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ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Power on Tuesday directed the Power Division to terminate the services of the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) Deputy Managing Director, Ali Zain Banatwala, and to recover all the vested money from him.

These directions were issued at a meeting of the committee presided over by Senator Saifullah Abro, who was also furious at the absence of the Minister for Power and the Secretary Power, and decided to summon the secretary Power Division in the next meeting.

While deliberating upon the implementation status on the issue of load shedding and low voltage of electricity in Samarbagh and Jandool of Dir District, the Additional Secretary of Power Division, Arshad Majid Mohmand, apprised the committee that the load shedding in the aforementioned areas has been reduced to four hours and two hours, respectively and a 132KV Grid Station Munda has also been established to reduce the issue of low voltage in the area, which will be completed by the end of August 2022.

However, Senator Fida Muhammad raised the matter of the illegal appointment of Banatwala as deputy managing director (SO), NTDC. He told the committee that prior to the recent appointment, Banatwala was serving as a consultant in the NTDC and currently, receiving a monthly salary of Rs1.83 million. He further added that age relaxation was reduced from 58 to 56 years for honouring appointment to the former. Senator Saifullah Abro directed the Power Division to terminate Banatwala as Deputy MD of the NTDC and recover all the vested money in him.

Meanwhile, the committee also took stern notice of the recent increase in fee of members of Board of Directors (BoDs) from Rs35,000 to Rs60,000 and fixed the fee of Rs15,000 per meeting. Senator Abro recommended the Power Division to withdraw increase in the fee and recover the entire amount from the Board of Directors, which has been paid in the last few months.

Additionally, the Committee discussed the matter of shifting of the head office of the NTDC from Lahore to Islamabad. The deputy MD of the NTDC informed that the head office consists of two floors, adding that one floor has been completed and the other is still under construction, which will be completed in the next few months. The committee directed the NTDC to take action against the NTDC Board and dissolve it immediately.

The Senate Committee also directed the Power Division to take action against the CEO Genco Holding against the illegal appointment.

Furthermore, the chairman committee demanded details of official visits taken by the CEO of K-Electric and other officials in the last one year. He also demanded an update on the status of the renewal of the agreement between the Government of Pakistan and K-Electric. He maintained that the K-Electric is not a private entity as the Government of Pakistan still owns 24 per cent shares in it and therefore, the Committee has the right to probe the matter.

The chairman committee also showed displeasure over the non-implementation of recommendations of the committee and directed the Power Division to implement them within two weeks’ time.

The meeting was attended by senators, Fida Muhammad, Syed Shibli Faraz, Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Sana Jamali, Haji Hidayatullah Khan, Bahramand Khan Tangi, Additional Secretary Power Division Arshad Majid Momand, Chairman Nepra Tauseef H Farooqi, and all concerned CEOs of the DISCOs.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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