Islamabad - Chairman Senate Committee on Power Senator Saifullah Abro on Tuesday has demanded an update on the status of renewal of agreement between the Government of Pakistan and K-Electric along with the details of official visits taken by CEO and other officials of the company in last one year.

The chairman also directed the Power Division to terminate Ali Zain Banatwala as Deputy Managing Director NTDC and recover all the vested money in him. Meeting of the Senate standing committee on Power was held here with Senator Saifullah Abro in the chair. The committee also took stern notice of recent increase in fee of Members of Board of Directors (BoDs) from Rs35 to 60 thousand. Senator Saifullah Abro recommended the Power Division to revert the fee and recover all the amount from Board of Directors, which has been paid in the last few months.

K-Electric is not private entity and Government of Pakistan still owns 24 percent shares in it and, therefore, the committee has right to probe the matter, he said. Senator Saifullah Abro expressed resentment on the absence of federal minister for energy and secretary, Power Division and decided to summon secretary Power Division in the next meeting. Why didn’t secretary Power Division come? Senator Abro questioned. Additional secretary Power Division informed that secretary Power Division went to Prime Minister House. It is already 11 o’clock and the PM is not free enough to have a meeting with the secretary for two and a half hours, the chairman observed. There are two ministers sitting on TV and talking big things; however, they cannot face a committee, Saifullah Abro remarked. Senator Fida Mohammad said that officers do not have answers to questions, what is the use of sitting here.

Senator Shibli Faraz said that officials participate in various meetings and added that it has become a routine now. Ministers and ministers of state do not attend meetings, he maintained. The committee raised questions on the process of promotion of officers. Chairman committee alleged that a person who had 14 cases was promoted. The question regarding promotion of officers and appointment of Line Superintendent was not answered, Saifullah Abro said. Joint secretary Power Division said that the Board is empowered by law to make decisions in this regard. Chairman committee said that why at that time the secretary gave this assurance and why it was done despite his commitment with the committee. Is the secretary’s words not given importance by the BOD? Chairman committee asked. He said that action should be taken against joint secretary as at that time he was CEO. Saifullah Abro said that CEO was also member of the Board and added NAB and FIA should take action in this regard.

Senator Fida Muhammad raised the matter of illegal appointment of Ali Zain Banatwala as Deputy Managing Director (SO), NTDC. He told the committee that the prior to recent appointment, Ali Zain Banatwala was serving as Consultant in NTDC and currently receiving Rs1.83 million salary per month. He further added that age relaxation was reduced from 58 to 56 years. Additionally, the committee discussed the matter of shifting of head office of NTDC in Islamabad. The deputy MD of NTDC informed that head office consists of two floors and, however, one floor has been completed and the other is still under construction, which will be completed in the next few months. While deliberating the implementation status on the issue of load-shedding and low voltage of electricity in Samarbagh and Jandool of Dir district, the additional secretary of Power Division Arshad Majid Momand apprised the committee that the load-shedding in aforementioned areas has been reduced to 4 hours and 2 hours, respectively and 132 KV Grid Station Munda has also been established to reduce the issue of low voltage in the area, which will be completed by the end of August of 2022. Moreover, the chairman committee also showed displeasure over the non-implementation of recommendations of the committee and directed Power Division to implement them within two weeks’ time.