MULTAN: The head of a private firm, in a letter to the chief minister, has sought disciplinary proceedings against the managing director (MD) of the Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC) for his alleged insulting attitude. However, the MD has termed it an attempt to defame and pressurise him, and announced serving a defamation notice on the firm.

In a letter sent to the chief minister on Sept 3 – the copies of which were also dispatched to Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik, the industries secretary and PSIC MD Mr Mudassar Riaz Malik, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Nayatel Wahajus Siraj stated that since 2018, his company had been trying to get right of way to install broadband fibre network at the Small Industrial Estate in Faisalabad. Numerous meetings were held with the PSIC officials with no results despite the fact that its right of permission is legitimate and can neither be denied and delayed nor unreasonable fee charged under the prevailing laws.

MD to serve company with defamation notice

“After hectic follow ups, the MD PSIC, Mr Mudassar Riaz Malik, invited Nayatel for a meeting in Lahore and our co-founder and COO (chief operating officer), Khwaja Saad Saleem, travelled from Islamabad to attend this meeting on Sept 2. Leaving the permission issue aside, Mr Malik was extremely rude and arrogant in the meeting and when he could not logically answer Mr Saleem’s arguments, he abruptly… left the unfinished meeting... Such an insulting attitude of the MD SPIC with an investor, who is making billions (worth of) investments in Punjab leading to hundreds of new jobs creation and providing broadband fibre in many cities… is unacceptable in a civilised democratic society and makes a dark spot on the government of Punjab,” he stated.

He requested that disciplinary proceedings be initiated against Mr Malik for his insulting and contemptuous attitude towards investors as well as citizens.

Mr Malik, however, claimed that this move was intended to defame him and pressurise the organisation to gain unjustified benefits.

“The fact of the matter is that a case regarding this company was submitted to me for decision a few days back on which I called a formal meeting, requesting the company to give a presentation, to understand the issue for decision making in the best interest of the public and as per rules. During the meeting when I questioned about fee rate proposed to be charged to the company being on very low side and contrary to fair market assessment, the COO of the company started misbehaving and shouting on which I terminated the meeting on the pretext that it lost its purpose and focus, and did not remain beneficial. I believe being a civil servant it’s my right to question issues along with their dimensions and make due diligence when there is a point of decision-making in important public matters; that’s exactly (what) I did in this case, which is purely as per law,” he alleged.

He further stated that the matter involved fee fixing to the company that could not be fixed against public interest under any pressure. “A fair decision, however will be made purely on merit and after proper legal assessment so as to avoid any complications. I am also serving the company with a legal notice for defamation,” he announced.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2020

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