ISLAMABAD: The government is paying a salary of about Rs5 million per month – the highest so far to a public sector executive – along with a number of unquantifiable perks to the managing director of Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Shaikh Imranul Haque, according to Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

His salary is around 141 per cent higher than that of his predecessor Naeem Yahya Mir, who was removed unceremoniously after premature termination of his contract soon after the PML-N government came to power in 2013.

The PSO’s net operating profit plunged about 48pc to Rs22.67 billion in the financial year 2014-15 when compared with about Rs42bn in 2013-14. Its annual turnover also dropped by 21pc to Rs1.1 trillion in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, against Rs1.4trn a year before.

The company’s overall market share is reported to have fallen below 50pc from over 76pc a couple of years ago. It would be a challenge for business acumen of Mr Haque to arrest the PSO’s continuing slide and regain market share and improve return to shareholders.

The salary package of Mr Haque is due for upward revision on Jan 1 next year by the PSO board of management based on his performance, the petroleum minister has stated in a written reply to the Senate on a question by PPP’s Salim H. Mandviwala.

Mr Haque’s basic salary has been set at Rs2.045m, house rent at Rs920,205 and three other allowances (special, utility and general) at Rs8,18,040. He has also been awarded a leave fare assistance of Rs409,020 per month, besides another Rs2.045m special allowance at the time of joining.

His three-year contract also entitles him to two company-maintained cars along with two drivers, insurance cost and fuel. In addition a performance bonus, may be paid if approved by the board of management. He will also be entitled to one-month salary for each completed year of service as gratuity along with Rs32,000 per month as servant allowance.

For the first time, the managing director of the country’s largest oil company has been given an undertaking that all legal, administrative, travel or other costs incurred by him during and after termination of the contract due to litigation or other actions resulting from appointment as MD and exercise of fiduciary responsibilities would be borne by the company.

Some financially unquantifiable perks have been made part of Mr Haque’s contract like unlimited telephone expenses, privilege and casual leave and medical expenses, besides armed security cover at all times, both while mobile and at residence. His travelling entitlements include business class domestic and international airfare along with other benefits as permissible to other company executives.

The company would provide for two entrance fees and subscription for two luxury clubs, besides indemnity insurance coverage at all times.

The PSO’s former managing director, Naeem Yahya Mir, used to get Rs847,000 as basic salary, Rs381,150 house rent, two equal allowances (general and special) Rs169,000 each, besides Rs85,000 utility charges along with other perks.

The petroleum minister told the Senate that Mr Haque had an MS degree in industrial engineering, and a BS degree in mechanical engineering, both from Syracuse University, the United States. He had 36 years experience and took over the new assignment on Sept 1 while his appointment was notified on May 11.

Before joining PSO, Mr Haque was working as chief executive of Engro Elengy Terminal, a subsidiary of Engro Corporation that established Pakistan’s first LNG terminal. He would now be responsible for importing LNG by PSO, besides other oil marketing business.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2015

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