ISLAMABAD - Adhocism in the National Fertilizer Corporation (NFC) has once again prevailed as after remaining without permanent head for four years, the caretaker government has once more handed over the additional charge of the entity to a bureaucrat on interim basis.
The caretaker cabinet through circulation has approved the handing over of additional charge of NFC to Sarah Aslam, Additional Secretary-lI, Industries & Production Division, official source told The Nation here Monday. Appointment of regular CEO for National Fertilizer Corporation (NFC) is not financially viable as it is on the path of privatization with no operational activity, the source said.
Despite remaining on the privatization list for four years, the successive governments have failed to attract buyers for the entity and it is without permanent CEO since March 2020. In 2020, the then PTI government had decided to not hire permanent CEO of the NFC and since then the successive governments of PDM and caretaker have maintained the status quo.
According to the summary moved to the caretaker cabinet, National Fertilizer Corporation (NFC) is a Private Limited Company, wholly owned by the government of Pakistan. It is registered under Companies Act, 1913 (now Companies Act 2017) with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. As per decision of the Federal Cabinet dated 10 March, 2020, NFC is on privatization list. As such no regular Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company has been appointed since then. However, additional charge of the post of CEO, NFC was being granted to the officers of this Division.
Latest assignment in this regard was granted to Asad Rehman Gilani, Additional Secretary (Incharge) of this Division for a period of three months w.e.f, 30-10-2023 with the approval of Federal Cabinet. However, the officer has been transferred from this Division on 26-12-2023. As per Section 187(4) of Companies Act, 2017 read with Rule 5(2) of Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance), Rules 2013, federal government is competent to nominate CEO of a public sector company for appointment by its Board of Directors.
Therefore, federal government’s mandate to nominate CEO in terms of Section 187(4) of Companies Act, 2017 read with Rule 5(2) of Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance), Rules 2013 is in place. Furthermore, the company being on the path of privatization with no operational activity except to act as holding company of National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML), appointment of regular CEO is not financially viable, said the summary. In the light of above, it is proposed that Sarah Aslam, Additional Secretary-lI, Industries & Production Division may be granted additional charge of the post of CEO NFC in addition to her own duties with immediate effect for a period of three months or till the completion of privatization process, whichever is earlier. NOC/concurrence of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for said appointment has been obtained.