Govt may wind up NPPMCL

Plans to create two new companies to run power plants


Our Correspondent May 27, 2021
General view of the K-Electric's Power Plant located in Bin Qasim on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan, August 11, 2016. Picture taken August 11, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD:

The government is likely to wind up National Power Parks Management Company (Private) Limited (NPPMCL) and create two new companies to run power plants.

Sources said that the issue was discussed in a high-level meeting of the cabinet.

The cabinet was informed that the NPPMCL board of directors had failed to comply with the decision of the cabinet relating to appointment of the company’s chief executive officer (CEO).

It was informed that the board of directors had argued that NPPMCL, including its possible demerger into two new companies, would possibly be wound up and it was not an appropriate time to hire and engage a new CEO.

The Power Division told the cabinet that, in a decision taken on November 5, 2019, it gave its concurrence for the appointment of Syed Ali Javed Hamdani as CEO of NPPMCL. The same was communicated to the company as well.

The NPPMCL board of directors approached the Power Division, seeking guidance of the Privatisation Commission. The board was of the view that in the wake of recent developments in relation to privatisation, NPPMCL would be wound up and in such a case the fate of newly appointed CEO would not be clear.

The Power Division made a reference to the Privatisation Commission in this regard and the commission replied “as the federal cabinet has already taken decision on a summary submitted by the Power Division, the decision is binding for compliance. In case the Power Division intends to reconsider the matter, a summary may be submitted to the cabinet for the change of decision”.

NPPMCL approached the Power Division again, stating that the matter was taken up by the board in its meeting dated March 30, 2020. In the meeting, the board, keeping in view the developments in the matter of NPPMCL privatisation including its possible demerger into two new companies, was of the opinion that it was not an appropriate time to hire and engage a new CEO.

Two power plants - Haveli Bahadur Shah, Jhang district and Balloki, Kasur district - had been included in the active list of privatisation with approval of the federal cabinet. The case of privatisation was being processed by the Ministry of Privatisation.

In light of the NPPMCL board’s recommendation, the cabinet may reconsider its earlier decision on the appointment of CEO.

It was suggested that Haveli Bahadur Shah Project Director Dhanpat Kotak may be allowed to continue to hold the additional charge of NPPMCL CEO as a stopgap arrangement. In this regard, approval of the cabinet was solicited.

During discussion, the members took strong exception to the delay in implementation of the cabinet’s decision. It was pointed out that the cabinet had approved the appointment of Syed Ali Javed Hamdani in November 2019, but the Power Division chose not to implement the decision, instead it reverted to the cabinet after one and a half year, asking it to reconsider its earlier decision.

Such selective implementation of the cabinet’s decisions was inexcusable, the members stated. The Power Division, while apologising for the delay, told the cabinet that the main reason was the lingering privatisation of NPPMCL.

The cabinet considered the summary titled “Reconsideration of appointment of NPPMCL CEO” submitted by the Power Division and approved the proposals.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2021.

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