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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Thursday sacked the top boss of its oil and gas company with an immediate effect.

The decision to terminate the services of KP Oil and Gas Company Limited chief executive officer Raziuddin was made during a meeting of the provincial cabinet here.

Information minister Shaukat Yousafzai told reporters that the cabinet, whose meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, had approved the sacking of Mr Raziuddin.

The energy and power department later issued a notification for the purpose.

However, the notification didn’t cite any reason for the move.

Cabinet also okays plantation of billion trees, Chitral’s bifurcation, auction of NCP vehicles

Sources told Dawn that the cabinet was informed about an inquiry committee report, which had recommended the termination of the oil and gas company’s CEO.

The committee headed by PTI Senator Noman Wazir was formed in August last year after a senior company executive levelled the allegations of malpractices against Mr Raziuddin in the company’s board meeting.

The executive later retracted his allegations and resigned from the company in October last year. The company’s board chairman and another member also quit their positions following the allegations emerged.

Sources said the committee had recommended termination of Mr Raziuddin’s services after its investigations.

They however said since the letter of the CEO’s contract had a section empowering the provincial government to sack the official anytime without assigning reason, it was used to prevent litigation.

Spokesman for the government Shaukat Yousafzai told reporters that the cabinet also decided to amend the Forest Ordinance 2002 to remove lacunas in it for the promotion of tourism in forest areas.

He said there were certain hurdles to the promotion of tourism facilities in forest areas due to restriction of cutting of trees, which necessitated that amendment.

“In some places, a couple of trees are blocking the way but they cannot be removed due to legal restrictions,” he said.

The spokesman said in KP, tourism was mostly centered in such areas and that the restrictions were creating troubles for the government departments.

He said the cabinet approved to form a three members committee headed by KP senior minister for tourism Atif Khan to look into the issue and propose amendments to Section 33 of the KP Forest Ordinance, 2002.

Mines minister Dr Amjad Ali and finance minister Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra will be the committee’s members.

Section 33 of the KP Forest Ordinance, 2002, deals with the acts, which have been prohibited in protected forests.

Mr Yousafzai said the government would try to ensure the formulation of such a policy, which was helpful in promoting tourism and protecting the forest cover.

He said the cabinet also decided to plant one billion trees in the province at the cost of Rs27 billion during the next five years.

“The federal government will provide half of the required funds, while KP will generate the rest from own resources,” he said.

The spokesman said the cabinet also approved KP Child Protection and Welfare Rules, 2015, and KP Domestic Violence against Women (Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2018.

“The draft bill has been prepared in the light of the Islamic Ideology Council to control incidents of violence against women,” he said.

The amendment to the Child Protection Rules, 2015, has reduced the experience requirement for chief protection officer from 15 to 10 years and women would be preferred for this job.

The cabinet also approved Chitral’s bifurcation into upper Chitral and lower Chitral districts. The spokesman said Chitral was the largest district of the province in terms of area and that the provincial government had decided in 2017 to bifurcate it the district but the decision couldn’t be implemented due to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s restrictions for the July 25 general elections.

He said the cabinet also approved the auction of non-custom paid vehicles possessed by various government departments.

Mr Yousafzai said the Supreme Court had taken notice of the people illegally using such vehicles.

He said 99 non-custom paid vehicles were being received from other government departments. The cabinet also decided to shift the administrative control of the KP Revenue Authority from the excise and taxation department to the finance department and approved the issuance of no objection certificate for the establishment of a sugar mill in the province.

Mr Yousafzai said in the next meeting, the cabinet was likely to approve a proposal removing the NOC condition for the establishment of industries in the province.

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2018

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