NTDC head replaced with ad hoc appointee

Published May 21, 2021
Dr Khawaja Riffat Hassan was removed from his post allegedly after he developed differences with the NTDC’s Board of Directors (BoD) on various administrative, technical and operational affairs. — Photo courtesy NTDC website
Dr Khawaja Riffat Hassan was removed from his post allegedly after he developed differences with the NTDC’s Board of Directors (BoD) on various administrative, technical and operational affairs. — Photo courtesy NTDC website

LAHORE: The government on Thursday relieved the officiating National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) Managing Director (MD) Engr Dr Khawaja Riffat Hassan, replacing him with Muhammad Ayub, on a temporary basis, allegedly after the former developeddifferences with the company’s Board of Directors (BoD) on various administrative, technical and operational affairs, Dawn has learnt.

“Actually, the appointment of an MD on ad-hoc basis always suits the energy ministry [power division], as it’s easy to remove such an officer from the post and appoint another, and helps it avert the complexities involved in removal of a regular one appointed through the company’s board,” an official source told Dawn, adding that during the PML-N rule also, the NTDC couldn’t get a permanent MD.

According to a press release, the outgoing NTDC MD will, however, continue to perform his duties as general manager (Technical Services Group (TSG).

Mr Ayub, who has recently been promoted by the board as deputy managing director (planning & engineering), has more than 36 years of local and international engineering experience in high voltage transmission, project management, construction, operation and maintenance of power sector. “He also performed his duties in NTDC as General Manager (Technical) and General Manager (National Power Control Centre / NPCC),” reads the release.

It is pertinent to mention that the government, to avoid temporary appointments, had constituted a new NTDC board last year to hire a regular company head against a competitive salary package. The board had in October last short listed four candidates for the slot, including Mr Azaz Ahmed, a foreign national. It reportedly dropped three of them, sending only Mr Ahmad’s name to the cabinet division for appointment as MD, ignoring the rules. The cabinet division too ignored the irregularity and appointed Mr Ahmad as new MD against US$15,000 per month.“When all this [irregularity] came into the limelight, Mr Ahmad, some 3 months ago, declined to join as MD. And, I think, will not join to avoid the controversy,” the source claimed.

However, a spokesman for the power division, Mr Ahmad, claimed Mr Ayaz will join as MD “in a month or so”.

“The government has already appointed him (Mr Ayaz) and he has sought a month or so to join. That is why Mr Ayub has been appointed on a temporary basis,” he clarified.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2021

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