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National

January 17, 2015
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PSO cuts experience limit for new MD

National

January 17, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: The board of management of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has relaxed the experience criterion for head of the company up to 10 years in the relevant field whereas the required experience for heads of other public sector entities is more than 20 years.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Khawaja Zaheer Ahmed, who heads the committee for appointing the heads of state-run enterprises, says the board is competent and fully authorised to make changes to job criteria for any vacant post.
When The News contacted a senior PSO official to know his point of view for relaxing the required experience he said he was not supposed to talk to strangers.Four public sector companies — PSO, Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL), Sui Southern Gas Pipeline Limited (SSGPL) and Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) — had sought some time from the committee to appoint their heads.
The committee was constituted by the prime minister for appointing the heads of state-run enterprises.Interestingly, the same day three other companies also advertised the job opening mentioning that the person should have at least 20 to 25 years of experience in the relevant field. The PSO, however, relaxed the experience limit up to 10 years in the relevant field.
Documents, available with ‘The News’, show that the PSO board of management hired the services of a head hunting company for short listing suitable candidates for the post of Managing Director (MD) of the company.
The head hunting company then advertised the job; however, the company in its advertisement mentioned that the person should have at least 20 years of experience including ten years in the relevant field.
As per documents, the PSO retained huge stocks of petroleum products on the opening day after price reduction and the same exercise continued for the remaining three months when the prices were reduced.
The PSO retained HSD stock up to 498,000 kilo litres on November 1, 2014 and

PMG’s stock was 54,000 kilo litres while the prices of HSD reduced by Rs6.18 and POG by Rs9.43. Because of this poor inventory management the company incurred a loss of Rs3.08 billion in diesel and 0.51 billion in PMG prices.
Similarly, the company retained 530,000 kilo litres of HSD and 92, 000 kilo litres of PMG and had to bear a loss of Rs3.7 billion in diesel prices and Rs0.89 billion in PMG prices as HSD prices decreased by Rs7.12 per litre and Rs9.66 per litre in PMG prices.
The top management again repeated the same exercise in January 2015 and retained 622,000 kilo litres of HSD and 67,000 kilo litres of PMG due to which the company had to bear a loss of Rs4.89 billion in HSD and Rs0.42 billion in PMG prices as the prices of HSD decreased by Rs7.86 and PMG prices by Rs6.25 per litre. Besides inventory losses, there has been a mammoth decrease in market share and repeated complaints of product shortage but largely overcharging.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Khawaja Zaheer told The News that though the task assigned to the committee had been finished, the government submitted its report to the Supreme Court.
“If the apex court allowed the committee to continue its work then it would further look into the matters of remaining departments whose heads are to be appointed. However, the government could not do anything if any company has reduced the experience criteria as its boards are autonomous,” he commented.
When contacted, a senior official of the PSO said, “Who gave you my number; I do not want to talk with strangers.” When asked how the board could reduce the experience limit up to 10 years of a company that involves multibillion dollar transaction, he said he was not answerable to this correspondent.
Another official of the PSO management replied that the HSD and PMG’s stock was retained as during the mid of the month it was announced that the POL prices would be decreased hence the dealers stopped purchasing the petroleum product.
To a question that how could the required experience for the post of MD PSO could be reduced to ten years, he said they could not respond to this question as this is a matter related to PSO’s board of directors and the government, and the management has nothing to do with this issue.

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