Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif moved an inch closer to his promise of a transparent government by approving the formation of an independent high-powered commission to appoint heads and chief executives of autonomous public sector organisations and corporations, following the Supreme Court’s guidelines.
Federal Tax Ombudsman Abdul Rauf Chaudhry will head the commission of which Shams Qasim Lakha and Dr Aijaz Nabi are expected to be the members. A human resource (HR) consultancy firm of international repute will assist the commission, the selection of which will also be made in a transparent manner.
Shams Qasim Lakha has been caretaker minister for science and technology and president of the Aga Khan University. Moreover, the PPP had also suggested him as a caretaker prime minister earlier in the year.
Dr Aijaz Nabi is an economist and has headed the South Asia region of the World Bank. He has also taught at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. He has also been a member of the prime minister’s economic advisory council.
Appointments for heads of 126 non-financial and more than a dozen financial organisations will be made by the commission. Most prominent of these organisations include, Civil Aviation Authority, KESC, Karachi Port Trust, National Highway Authority, National Logistics Cell, Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd, Overseas Employment Corporation, PIA, National Shipping Corporation, Pakistan Petroleum, Pakistan Post Office, Pakistan Railway, Pakistan State Oil, Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Pakistan Television, Sui Northern and Sui Southern, Utility Stores Corporation, State Life Insurance Corporation, National Bank of Pakistan, Agricultural Development Bank, and House Building Finance Corporation.
There are another three such autonomous organizations in Balochistan, sixteen in K-P, nine in Punjab and six in Sindh. Relevant provincial governments will make decisions with regards to these.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.