ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the PM on Information Technology Sardar Latif Khosa faces a mutiny-like situation in his ministry and from the Board of Directors of the two extremely wealthy telecom-specific private sector companies, which the minister heads, but wants to run them in his own style.
There are apprehensions about the fate of a huge fund of more than Rs 20 billion available with these companies. However, what is really a serious matter for Khosa is the opposition that he is facing from his own secretary as well as member telecom of the IT Ministry over the question of key appointments in these companies, which were created for research and development and for spreading modern telecom services in under-served areas of Pakistan. Already Khosa had a confrontation with his secretary in a recent Senate Committee meeting where yet another PPP Senator Syed Faisal Raza Abidi joined Khosa and shouted at the top officials of the ministry and these companies. The adviser is alleged to have violated the SECP rules as he ignored the Board of Directors of these companies to impose his own will to get his choice men appointed as Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of these companies — the Universal Service Fund (USF) and National Information Communication Technologies Research and Development Fund ICTRDF.
Neither have these companies nor has their fund anything to do with the government as they are registered under companies act with the SECP and generate fund from the telecom operators to support their corporate objectives. The minister in-charge of the IT is the ex-officio chairman of these companies. Some directors are now seriously contemplating to remove Khosa as the chairman of their companies. Khosa, when contacted, insisted that he was strictly going by the book and wanted that the appointments of the CEOs of these companies should be made on merit and through a transparent procedure. He rejected the allegations that he wanted his choice men, including his brother-in-law, to be appointed as CEOs of these companies but said that he was really serious to scrutinize the projects of these companies. Continue reading