Government appoints SIDCL CEO

Hiring comes after nearly one year amid observations raised by Establishment Division

Zafar Bhutta May 16, 2021


Amid observations raised by the Establishment Division, the government has finally appointed a chief executive officer (CEO) for Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited (SIDCL) after almost one year at a salary of Rs1.5 million in addition to other perks and privileges.

The Establishment Division had raised observations over selection of shortlisted candidates.

The company was being run on an adhoc basis since May 2020. The Planning, Development & Special Initiative Division apprised the cabinet that SIDCL, Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, is a public-sector company, solely owned by the government of Pakistan and registered under the Companies Act, 2017.

Former principal secretary to governor Sindh Khakan Murtaza (PAS/BS-21) was holding additional charge of the position of SIDCL CEO in pursuance of the cabinet’s decisions taken on May 18, 2020 and October 26, 2020.

The federal cabinet, in its meeting held on March 16, approved appointment of the current Principal Secretary to Governor Sindh Dr Syed Saifur Rehman as SIDCL CEO on additional charge basis till appointment of a regular CEO.

His appointment was not notified since the process for recruitment of a regular SIDCL CEO had been completed.

After concluding the selection process as per Public Sector Companies (Appointment of Chief Executive) Guidelines 2015, the board of directors of SIDCL had recommended the following three names in order of preference to be appointed as CEO for a period of two years; Naeem Lodhi, Shairyar Salim and Muhammad Siddique.

The SIDCL’s board also recommended to fix the monthly remuneration (lump sum salary) amounting to Rs1.5 million (inclusive of medical expenses) plus company maintained car with a driver subject to concurrence of the Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives and the Finance Division.

The planning minister endorsed the recommendation of the board for nomination of Naeem Lodhi for position of SIDCL CEO with immediate effect for a period of two years on monthly remuneration as proposed by SIDCL board.

The summary for approval of proposal was routed through the Finance Division and the Establishment Division. The Finance Division was of the view that the SIDCL board was competent to determine terms and conditions of appointment including remuneration of the CEO.

The Establishment Division, however, made certain observations, which were duly clarified by the Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives. The Establishment Division reiterated its observation regarding the qualification criteria of candidate Muhammad Siddique, whereas it was satisfied with all other observations.

It was submitted that the recruitment committee shortlisted Muhammad Siddique on the basis of his diverse skill set and experience. The prime minister was pleased to desire that proposal, along with observations of Establishment Division, shall be placed before the cabinet. In view of the above, approval of the cabinet was solicited to the proposal.

The cabinet considered the summary for appointment of SIDCL CEO and approved the appointment of Naeem Lodhi as the CEO. The cabinet further directed that terms and conditions of CEO shall be determined by the board.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2021.

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