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LAHORE: An overwhelming influence of the Power Division in the management affairs of National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) has caused deadline failures of over $3 billion contacts awarded during the last five years, said sources.

The Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has also declared the most important award of contract for the transmission lines of WAPDA’s T5 Tarbela project by the NTDC as misprocurement.

According to the sources, the position of MD NTDC has been held by 13 incumbents during the last decade out of which only two of them were posted on a three tenure basis. Incidentally, both of them were ex-pats and preferred to leave the job within a period of one year and even less than it. The rest of the tenures have been held by the Power Division officials, including Musadaq Khan, Omer Rasool and mainly by the Joint Secretary Zafar Abbas.

It is revealed that the Joint Secretary looked after the work of MD NTDC for a total of nearly three years till such time he was transferred from the Division after multiple complaints. He has once again been brought back to the Power Division by the incumbent secretary and given him the charge of JS transmission again while he is claiming in his close circles that he was managing NTDC as before.

The sources said that he has negotiated during the current floods and damage to Jamshoro – Karachi 500 KV line and directed to award the rehabilitation contract to one of his favorites at double the actual cost estimated to be expended for the repairs.

According to the sources, kind of management structure for a state-owned enterprise like NTDC is unheard of as the MD is being assisted by four DMDs – where three of the positions are filled-up while the fourth is vacant and seven GMs are looking after their distinct areas of operation. According to insiders, these seven GMs are vested upon by specific powers in order to look after their areas of operation and as such there is no need for the position of four DMDs or any additional financial or administrative powers. This fact has also been noted by the Senate and the National Assembly standing committees on power/energy.

The sources have pointed out that this arrangement had led to the usurpation of the position of MD NTDC by one Manzoor Ahmad who presently (through a clandestine process) has become the DMD at a monthly emolument of Rs1.8 million against the earlier all told official pay for the cadre officers of just Rs325,000 per month. Reportedly, his conduct is under enquiry by NAB, but he is known to have saved himself through his deep connections. The sources have also confirmed that the Power Division has recently completed an enquiry against this person, details of which were divulged before the Senate’s Standing Committee last week.

The sources further confided that a similar report was also discussed before the standing committee relating to the present MD NTDC Dr. Rana Abdul Jabbar Khan. From the seniority list of GMs of NTDC, it is seen that Dr. Rana Abdul Jabbar Khan is not amongst the first three senior officers, while his seniority is under challenge and enquiry. He has been reportedly given the charge of the MD on account of his relatives in the ruling party. He was recently taken to the task by the Secretary Power Division for dereliction of duty and incompetence. Reportedly, it is difficult for him to even read and write in English.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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