ISLAMABAD - Cabinet Committee on Restructuring of Public Sector Enterprises has recommended dissolving National Institute of Electronics for failing to deliver on its statutory functions and have asked NAB to probe massive irregularities in the department. These recommendations were made in a recent report “CCoR Activity Recommendations”. The principal investigator was Co-Opted Member, CCoR, Shabir Khan.
Established in 1979, the National Institute of Electronics is an autonomous organisation working under Ministry of Science and Technology.
According to the report NIE has 223 sanctioned posts out of which 124 are filled. Out of these filled posts only 21 are scientists/ engineers, 36 are technicians and staff, conflicting to its mandate.
It is worth mentioning that 19 out of technical staff are on contract basis, according to the report, non availability of career planning for staff and absence of any attractive salary package or incentive to scientists / technical staff is one of the reasons of the demise of the organisation. “Appointment of non-technical acting Director Generals, and due to 9 out of 10 top posts vacant, non availability of career planning to staff, NIE neither possesses required core competence nor the culture and requisite human resource to adequately perform or deliver on its statutory function, especially national policy research and formation”, observed the report.
Established in 1979, the National Institute of Electronics is an autonomous organisation working under Ministry of Science and Technology.
According to findings, the released non-development budget for 2013-14 was Rs94.48 million and its annual liabilities for 2013-14 were Rs118 million in terms of salary, allowances and pension of employees. The released Development/ PSDP budget for 2012-13 were Rs78.66 million, out of which Rs490 million were for the Balancing Modernisation and Rehabilitation (BMR) project, whereas Rs34.78 million were for Embedded Control system project.
Investigating about the purchase of equipment worth over Rs150 million and construction of new block at a cost of Rs 100 million since 2007, the report term it a massive neglect on the part of MoST, and failure of NIE management to adopt a viable strategy. It suggests that NIE board of governors should be dissolved with immediate effect as, according to findings, board already does not meet regularly due to lack of interest and non-appointment of a regular DG. The report insists that ongoing Project BMR should be halted immediately, due to activities outside its mandate and failure to deliver the objectives for which it was formed.
The report raises serious questions about the purchase of equipment and construction of new building.  “BMR and ECSD have only 4 permanent technical staff each, the main activities appear to be confined to purchasing equipment up to tune of Rs150 million in 2013-14 alone, and construction of new building at the cost of Rs 100 million was done without collaborating industry or academia”, it said.
Report stated that activities of centre for software development and advanced training in databases are doing activities, which are outside scope of statutory function of NIE , and they should be halted.
Detailing about different project the report said that they are run like a personal business and it should not only be dissolved but National Accountability Bureau should investigate it for legal action. “It has grown within NIE almost as a personal business venture providing employment for external consultants”, it is an ideal candidate for the investigation by National Accountability Bureau”, the report suggested. Report findings about BMR project are that it has failed to transfer institute into a modern progressive and forward looking organisation, of national standing by its total revamp, and it was not also able to modernise upgrade support facility including PCB design and fabrication, workshop, and library. They both were the main objectives to establish the BMR project.
The reports raised serious concerns over the commercial activities going on in BMR project.
Funded by China through technical and $300 million financial assistance over 9 years, one of the objective of NECOP, to establish 6 technology centres of National Electronics Complex of Pakistan (NECOP). According to the report, NECOP ambitiously bid for large 45K smart meter production contract for Wapda, which is surely outside of its statutory mandate. NECOP also bid for large LED lights, which is again outside its mandate. The report asked that why management is so ambitious to carry out projects which are at 360 degree opposite of its statutory mandate and do nothing for the purpose it was established. The report again asked why the BMR management is working on geothermal projects in isolation with PCRET and AEDB, the government departments established to promote alternative energy.  It also asked why it is working on, according to management claim on LED activities being conducted in isolation with Energy Conservation Fund Enercon, government department whose mandate is to reduce energy wastage in industrial and SME sector. It again highlighted and raised question that with non-technical staff without any expertise in above fields, which require high level of specialised education experience, why BMR management is wasting time and government resources in something which is neither their mandate, nor they have competence and capacity.
The Cabinet Committee on Restructuring, with Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs as its Chairman was formed for the Restructuring of Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs). With the Secretariat at Economic Reform Unit the committee was to study, evaluate and then recommend about the restructuring of ill units or giant organisations including Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO), Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), and Pakistan Steel.