Panel finds ‘no evidence’ against SNGPL key officials

Fact-finding committee exonerates acting MD Amer Tufail and SGM Sohail Gulzar


​ Our Correspondent May 02, 2020
Fact-finding committee exonerates acting MD Amer Tufail and SGM Sohail Gulzar. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: A fact finding committee of the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) board of directors has failed to find out any evidence against the utility’s acting managing director and a senior general manager to substantiate claims made in “low-down reports”.

SNGPL Acting Managing Director Amer Tufail and Senior General Manager Sohail Gulzar were potential candidates in a summary moved by the Petroleum Division for appointment of a permanent head of the gas distribution company.

However, the Prime Minister Office returned the summary to the Petroleum Division on basis of some “low-down reports”. These reports accused the officials respectively of nepotism and lack of integrity.

The Prime Minister Office had written a letter to Petroleum Division calling for referring the matter of the two top officials to the SNGPL board for appropriate action in light of the reports.

The board of directors in its last meeting held in the second week of April took up the matter. During the meeting, majority of board members turned down the allegations.

The board members were of the view that the PM Office letter asked them to deliberate on the matter but had not attached any evidence against the officials. It noted that the allegations were general in nature and the board was not in a position to deliberate on the matter without evidence.

Some members were also of the view that the SNGPL is publicly listed company which operates under the Companies Act and code of corporate governance and is not bound to follow government’s directives.

However, the board later formed a three-member fact-finding committee to consider the evidences if any. This three-member committee will submit its report to the board of directors in its meeting scheduled for Saturday (today).

Sources told The Express Tribune that members of the committee have failed to find any adverse material to verify allegations against these two officials.

One committee member told The Express Tribune that there was not enough time to dig out any evidence against the officials. Now, the board would be informed about the development.

Appointment of board chairman

The board is also set to discuss appointment in the SNGPL without approval of the federal cabinet.

The Prime Minister Office had written a letter to all ministries and divisions last month directing them to submit a report within a week about appointments made without the cabinet’s approval.

It said the lists should include appointments on such posts that were made pursuant to the delegated powers of the federal cabinet to the Federal Ministers/Secretaries since August 18, 2016.

The lists should reach cabinet secretary within one week for presenting them before the federal cabinet’s scheduled meeting on May 5, 2020, the letter added.

The sources said the SNGPL board of directors would also consider a proposal to reduce the number of board members. The move aims at reducing expenditures under an austerity drive. At present, the SNGPL board has 14 directors and a proposal would be discussed to reduce the number to 12 numbers.

When contacted, the SNGPL spokesperson said the board is meeting this Saturday but the agenda of the meeting is privileged information which cannot be shared till the decisions are approved and taken and become public property.

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