The government has allowed the board of directors of all power distribution companies that they can make changes in appointment criteria for the chief executive officer (CEO).

Under the existing requirements, approved by the cabinet, only engineers can apply for the post of CEO, but they have failed to attract suitable candidates for the vacant slots.

Now, the cabinet in its last meeting agreed that the board of directors of distribution companies could make changes in the selection criteria for the CEO.

The issue came up for discussion while considering the appointment of the head of Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco).

Gepco is one of the 10 power distribution companies working under administrative control of the Ministry of Energy (Power Division).

The cabinet, in a meeting held on December 15, 2020, had approved a proposal for the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions for CEOs of all 10 power distribution companies to ensure uniformity.

The distribution companies then kicked off the recruitment process and advertised the post.

In some companies, the hiring process has been completed, but in some other cases suitable candidates could not be found. These companies, which include Gepco as well, are starting the recruitment process afresh.

Earlier, the chairman of Gepco board asked the Power Division to allow changes in the eligibility criteria, as already approved by the cabinet, since the existing requirements did not permit other than engineers to apply for the slot of CEO.

Keeping that in view, the Power Division proposed that since the boards of directors were competent to determine terms and conditions for the advertisement/ appointment of CEO as per Section 188(a), they may by allowed to determine the terms and conditions as deemed appropriate with the stipulation that the relevant provision of the law and guidelines must be strictly followed.

The revision in earlier decisions of the cabinet would be applicable to all other distribution companies as well where the process was still going on and their boards felt the need to revise the terms and conditions, the division emphasised.

The Power Division sought approval of the cabinet for allowing the board of directors to change the appointment criteria.

After comprehensive discussion, the cabinet gave its approval, which would be applicable to all power distribution companies.

Tribal Areas Electric Supply Company (Tesco), a power distribution company that operates under administrative control of the Ministry of Energy (Power Division), published an advertisement in February 2021, seeking applications for the post of CEO, but no potential candidate could be selected.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2021.

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