LAHORE - After Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Dr Hassan Askari’s nod to close about one dozen inactive and dysfunctional companies set up by the PML-N government, the caretaker cabinet will meet soon to stamp the closure.

There are about 70 public sector companies established in Punjab and a dozen of them are dormant. The caretaker government has already de-notified the politically appointed people from company’s board of directors.

There were different proposals regarding the companies facing NAB. Legal advisers had opposed the idea to close down the companies but gave a go ahead to closure of the companies, which were dormant.  The caretaker cabinet had then directed parent departments of the inactive companies to present their cases at the coming cabinet meeting. The cases of such companies are likely to be considered at the cabinet meeting in a day or so.

A subsidiary of the Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC), FIEDMC Environment and Management Company (FEMC), would be closed after approval of the competent authority.

The company had requested the Joint Stock Company (JSC) registrar on March 9 to issue an NOC to wind up the company, which has been inactive for years.

The JSC registrar said that request for dissolution of FEMC on a voluntary basis was acknowledged under provision of the Companies Act 2017.

Likewise, the Punjab Environment & Effluent Treatment Company (PEETC) will also be closed. The company was established in 2008 with the JSC, which was a subsidiary component of the Punjab Industrial Estate Development & Management Company (PIEDMC).

The Finance Department had released an amount of Rs60 million in 2008-9 in the name of PEETC. “Since a large amount of funds was required to set up treatment plants, which were not provided; therefore, no progress could be achieved,” said a PIEDMC official. PEETC, he said, could not perform its function as per its mandate. The company, as a result, became dormant, he said. Moreover, the JSC registrar had struck off its name from the register of companies vide notification dated June 6, 2014. This company has submitted its case to wind up.

Likewise, if the cabinet okays, the Technical Education & Vocational Training Company (TEVTC) will also be closed. The company was established in 2010. Neither funds were released nor any recruitment was made in the company, so the competent authority had approved winding up TEVTC in 2012. The JSC registrar had struck off the company name from list of companies in September 2013.

The Board of Investment & Trade Punjab (BOITP) was registered on June 22, 1999 under Companies Ordinance, 1984 with the SECP. However, the then cabinet in 2000 wound up all operations of the company.

Likewise, cases of other dormant companies working under administrative control of other departments will be presented at the cabinet meeting.

Moreover, the cabinet may consider many other issues like de-notification of political appointees to institutions like Overseas Pakistanis Commission, transfer of companies’ CEOs, implementation of the apex court order about the company CEOs to return salaries, companies’ audit reports and provision of records sought by NAB.  A cabinet member on condition of anonymity said that Askari had already promised to cooperate with the NAB on legal matters. He said that unlike past the cabinet would not delay the accountability process. He said that provision of the companies’ record to the anti-graft body will be ensured. He said that post arrest scenario of former principal secretary to the PM (Fawad Hasan Fawad), his case in the NAB and caretaker government’s role may also be discussed at the meeting.

He said that Askari has already consulted his cabinet members on the situation on arrival of former premier Nawaz Sharif, law and order and free and fair elections.