Boards of six KP water, sanitation companies working even after expiry of tenure

Updated February 23, 2020

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The boards of directors of six of the seven government-owned water and sanitation companies functioning in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are understood to be functioning even more than one year after the expiry of their tenure. — File
The boards of directors of six of the seven government-owned water and sanitation companies functioning in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are understood to be functioning even more than one year after the expiry of their tenure. — File

PESHAWAR: The boards of directors of six of the seven government-owned water and sanitation companies functioning in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are understood to be functioning even more than one year after the expiry of their tenure.

Officials of the Water and Sanitation Services companies told Dawn that the government was neither extending the term of those boards nor was it forming the new ones to address the irregularly.

They said seven water and sanitation companies were established by the ruling PTI during the last six years in Kohat, Bannu, DI Khan, Mardan, Swat, Peshawar and Abbottabad divisions under a federal law, Companies Act, 2017, with the tasks of water supply and wastewater and solid waste management.

The officials said the tenure of board of directors of Kohat, Bannu, DI Khan, Mardan and Swat companies expired in Nov 2018 and that of the Abbottabad company in March 2019.

Officials insist summaries for term extension with CM for nod

They said only the board of the Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar was functioning regularly as its tenure would expire in Nov this year.

The officials said the local government department intended to bring changes to the Peshawar company’s board of directors though its term had yet to end.

“It’s strange that on one hand, the department wants to change the composition of the BoD of WSSP Peshawar nine months ahead of the expiry of its term but on the other, it isn’t willing to extend the expired term of the boards of six other companies or nominate new directors to them,” an official said.

Section 183 of the Companies Act, 2017, gives a wide range powers to the board of every water and sanitation company for the issuance of shares and debentures or any instrument in the nature of redeemable capital; borrowing of money otherwise than on debentures; investment of funds, and authorisation of a director or the firm of which he or she is a partner or any partner of such firm or a private company of which he is a member or director to enter into any contract with the company for making sale, purchase or supply of goods or rendering services with the company.

The law also empowers the board to approve financial statements and bonus for employees; incur capital expenditure on any single item or dispose of a fixed asset in accordance with the limits as may be specified; write off bad debts, advances and receivables, and write off inventories and other assets of the company.

Special assistant to the chief minister on local government department Kamran Khan Bangash was not available for comments on the matter despite repeated contacts on his mobile phone.

However, sources in the local government department told Dawn that separate summaries had been sent to the chief minister for the extension of the tenure of the boards of directors of six water and sanitation companies. They added that the summaries would be placed before the cabinet for approval after the chief minister’s nod.

The sources said the local government department would notify extension in the tenure of BoDs after the cabinet’s approval.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2020