National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC)’s Managing Director (MD) Rasul Khan Mahsud was suspended on Monday amidst a deepening power crisis in the country.
“Yes, NTDC MD Rasul Khan has been suspended due to inefficiency,” said Water and Power Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, who formally took charge of his new ministry on Monday.
Khan had been the managing director of Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) and took over as NTDC chief after Pepco was dissolved. Currently, he was working on a one-year contract with NTDC.
Mukhtar’s predecessor Naveed Qamar was allegedly removed from his ministry for his failure to control power outages which have triggered countrywide protests.
According to sources, Mukhtar had claimed in a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari that he could resolve the power crisis within six months, if given the opportunity. “Now, he has a challenging task ahead,” an official of the water and power ministry said.
Meanwhile, Mukhtar was briefed by the water and power secretary and other senior officials on the ministry’s affairs.
Wapda Chairman Shakeel Durrani also called on Mukhtar and briefed him on the progress of various projects, according to a statement.
Later, he visited various wings of the water and power ministry. He asked the ministry’s employees to work hard to save the country from the current crisis.
The minister is due to visit Wapda House on Tuesday, where he will be given a complete briefing on issues affecting the water and power sectors.
Mukhtar is a senior parliamentarian, who has previously served as commerce minister during former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s second stint in power.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2012.