ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Power Division Awais Laghari has expressed serious concern over the performance of HR departments of DISCOs and directed them that all the vacant positions at officers level be filled at the earliest.

Awais Laghari also directed that bifurcation of MEPCO, LESCO and PESCO must be decided by the respective Board of Directors and their concerned CEOs must table the consolidated proposals for consideration of BODs immediately.

The federal minister passed the direction in a meeting on matters relating to bifurcation of LESCO, MEPCO and PESCO for better management and developing consumers oriented approach here. The Prime Minister has already issued the directives regarding the fast track administrative reforms and to start the process of bifurcation of the companies having unmanageably large area or number of customers.

Official sources privy to the meeting told The Nation that the Discos have brought the bifurcation plan of their respective companies for the approval of the federal government. The minister asked them first get approval from BODs and then come here, the official added. Meanwhile, a statement issued here stated that the minister directed that BODs of the DISCOs should be involved in all decisions making and their decisions should be implemented in letter and spirit. He further directed the Power Division to work out enhancing the capacity of the existing BODs by inclusion of diverse professionals from different walks of life. The minister said that BODs should play their vigilant decisive role in the strategic decision making and should discharge their authorities in true letter and spirit as per the corporate governance.

It is pertinent to mention here that in the past the government has time and again bypassed the Discos BODs. For example, the former CEO of PESCO, Anwar-ul-Haq was appointed by BOD but the government sent him on force leave and was later transferred to WAPDA. The incumbent CEO of PESCO has been nominated by the federal government on stop gap arrangement and his appointment was not endorsed by the BODs, the official informed. The interim arrangement is hurting the performance of PESCO, the official said. The earlier CEO was GM, while the incumbent CEO is Chief Engineer. In presence of two other GMs in PESCO the appointment of a Chief Engineer as a CEO is also questionable, the official said. However, the spokesperson PESCO, Shaukat Afzal was several times contacted by the scribe to comment on the issue but he didn’t reply. 

The federal minister said the HR departments of DISOCs have failed in exploiting the existing potential of their HR and also in strengthening themselves by filling the vacant positions. The minister directed that all the vacant positions at officers level be filled at the earliest. The use of HR and filling of vacant posts is bound to bring in more efficiency in operation, added the minister.

Official sources said that the minister noted that in the past recruitments were made on political basis and asked the Discos to make all the future hiring on merit. The federal minister also directed to introduce lucrative reward for the top performers at each DISCO level to encourage them.

The federal minister for Power Division noted that all the DISCOs should adopt financial autonomy and they should be able to generate its own funds from the open market instead of from the government. The minister assured that all efforts will be put in place to make the DISCOs functions free from political interference and directed the DISCOs to take strict administrative actions against those employees who use political or other influence.