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The Board of Directors (BoD) National Industrial Parks (NIP) Development and Management Company has recommended to the Secretary Industries and Production (MoI&P) to remove company's incumbent CEO Mudassar Iqbal, for allegedly extending undue financial favour to a select few companies, well- informed sources told Business Recorder.

According to the letter, a copy of which is available with Business Reorder, an emergent meeting of the Board of Directors was held on February 2, 2018 at Karachi to consider the reply received from CEO NIP against an enquiry report initiated in wake of allegations in complaints received and queries raised there off by members in the previous board meeting.

"The Board feels regretful in stating that although Mudassar Iqbal, CEO NIP presented a set of documents in explanation, but was unable to respond to actual queries, thus his reply remained ambiguous/evasive and the financial losses to NIP of Rs 1.99 billon as pointed out in the inquiry report suffered by NIP because of his unilateral decisions remains unexplained," said Chairman BoD in his letter.

The CEO was also unable to explain three different treatments unilaterally given to three defaulting plot applicants bringing loss of Rs 800 million to NIP in just one case through preferential treatment given by him unilaterally to one applicant (KIA Lucky Motors). Thus Board is anxious that remedial measures would be thwarted if he continued to occupy the CEO position of company.

The Board maintained as to how the case of waiver of Rs 800 million in the case of KIA Motors can be justified in this supercharged accountability atmosphere prevailing when the other two parties ie M/s Naveena Export Limited and M/s Hiltan Pharma (Pvt) Limited considered on the same date of allotment are denied the equal benefit.

CEO NIP himself attended the Board meeting in which he was asked to explain KIA's case, and he replied "I as CEO-NIP have executive power which I exercised for granting relaxation/foregoing payment of new price/ permission to KIA and it is not in the domain of BoD as BoD can only give policy. Further such things have been done before. I took this decision in view of the larger interest of the company considering that KIA's presence in the park would help attract investment."

The Board held firm opinion that financial loss on account of CEO's unilateral actions remained unexplained and requested MoI&P to consider replacement of the CEO or depute some senior officer for smooth conduct of Company's business on urgent basis.

In 2016, when Business Recorder sought the viewpoint of CEO NIP, he had stated that he has been granted extraordinary leave from the EDB, which meant that he will rejoin the organisation after his term as CEO NIP expires.

On December 16, 2016, Business Recorder carried a story stating that the Ministry had appointed Mudassar Iqbal, an employee of EDB as CEO NIP in violation of rules. NIP is working as a subsidiary of the Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). According to rules, if a government servant is appointed at another post, he or she is required to resign from his or her existing post but the incumbent CEO NIP has assumed the charge and is simultaneously holding /retaining the post of GM EDB.

The sources said a three member committee comprising Joint Secretary MoI&P, Dastgir Baloch, CEO, PIDC, Iqbal Tabish and Deputy Secretary has also investigated the appointment of CEO NIP and termed it illegal.

The fact finding report will be submitted to the Additional Secretary Incharge, Mian Asad Haya-ud-Din for further action.

The NIP Board had also requested MoI&P to consider the matter of appointment of CEO. The Board argued that hiring of CEO should be looked into with reference to article 49 of Article of Association of NIP. The Board further sought clarification from MoI&P regarding the employment of a government servant with local organisations on the basis of Extra Ordinary Leave (EOL) as Estacode only allows working with international organisations/ UN specialized agencies/ foreign government on the basis of leave due/EOL.

When this correspondent contacted, CEO NIP he advised this correspondent to first go through the report and then write the report. However, when he was informed about the report's contents, he replied "it's ok."

Copyright Business Recorder, 2018

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