ISLAMABAD, Aug 6: The Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power ordered on Monday immediate removal of 28 senior contractual employees, including eight chief executives of power companies of Wapda, and called for an investigation to ascertain if 19,254 employees had been inducted by the present government into the companies in violation of rules and the principle of merit.
A meeting of the committee headed by Senator Zahid Khan of the ANP held that extension given to 28 top power sector executives not only violated an order of the Supreme Court but were also against rules and were unfair to officers deserving promotion.
“Remove all these (28) officers immediately and submit a report to the committee within a week,” Senator Khan said. He wondered how a contract for a monthly salary of Rs500,000 had been given to Tariq Sadozai, the newly appointed Chief Executive of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco), when his predecessor was drawing only Rs150,000 per month.
“The results of what these people sitting on extensions have delivered during their earlier tenures are before us in the shape of people protesting on roads,” Senator Khan said, adding that it was sheer injustice to career officers to let them wait and retire without promotion while those with connections got extension after retirement.
The meeting was informed that three extensions had been terminated, while the chief executives of the Multan, Lahore, Sukkur and Quetta electric supply companies and head of the National Power Control Centre were still working.
The committee asked the ministry of water and power to make promotions on merit and immediately stop hiring contract employees from outside. It asked the ministry to submit within two months a report on reasons behind such extensions and contracts and provide the entire record of distribution and generation companies and the National Transmission and Dispatch Company to ascertain observance or violation of quotas and merit in promotions and appointments.
The committee was informed that 19,254 employees had been inducted by the present government into various distribution and transmission companies, including 598 officers. Of them, 2,312 persons were inducted this year. The figures do not include inductions in Wapda’s four generation companies.
The meeting criticised the system of constitution of boards of directors of power companies and noted that disregarding rules of merit, the government had appointed blue-eyed people as directors of the public sector companies. Instead of working to improve the system such directors were engaged in serving their own interests, members of the committee said.
“The criteria for selection of board members is such that even if my party comes into power it would find it simple to induct people of its choice and liking instead of engaging professionals,” the committee’s chief said.
The committee asked the Securities and Exchange Commission and the law ministry to assist it in ascertaining if the Companies Ordinance of 1984 was being followed in appointment of directors of boards.