The federal government is taking all possible measures to make sure the induction of its favourites as members and chairman in the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), reports “The News”, while saying that it is evident from the series of advertisements published recently for hiring of the members of the authority.
As we reported recently, the advertisements were published after the issuance of an SRO, which has changed various requirements for the appointment of chairman and members of the authority.
Jawwad Rizvi of “The News” argues that these changes in requirements are especially tailored to bring in the favourites.
To understand the whole scenario, let’s have a look at the requirements:
Changes made in Upper Age Limit
As per PTA Act and Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-Organization) Act 1996, there is no age limit specified for the appointment of Chairman and Members of the authority. But the Cabinet Division has been setting the upper age limit arbitrarily from time to time — in total violation of the law — to accommodate some favourites while screening out the more experienced ones.
The most recent episode of manipulating with the age limit is evident from advertisements published in a short span of only 15 days. Following are the age limits in various job advertisements for members/chairman:
- Ad published on 10 April 2002: Upper age limit: 55 Years
- Ad published on 15 Sept 2008: No Upper age limit
- Ad published on 29 Jan 2013: No Upper age limit
- Ad published 30 Jan 2013: Upper Age Limit: 56 Years
- Ad published 14 Feb 2013: Upper Age Limit: 57 Years
It can be seen clearly from last three bullet points above that upper age limit has been changed thrice (No age limit -> 56 Years -> 57 Years) within a period of only 15 days. What purpose could these quick changes serve other than to accommodate someone and bar others to participate in the process?
According to sources, the upper age limit has been increased from 56 to 57 years in the latest advertisement appeared on 14 Feb 2013 just to accommodate ex chairman Mr. Farooq Awan, who will otherwise be out of the race by attaining the age of 56 years by the application deadline.
Changes made in Qualifications (for Member Finance)
Required qualifications have been drastically changed in the advertisement published on 14 Feb 2013 for the position of member (finance) as compared to the qualifications originally asked only 15 days ago through the advertisement appeared on 29 Jan 2013.
For example, previous advertisement included MBA (Finance) as one of the qualifications for this position, which has been removed from the latest advertisement to block certain well-experienced people working within PTA (Tariq Sultan, currently the Director General (Finance) at PTA).
Instead CFA and some other nomenclatures have been included specially to qualify ex chairman PTA Farooq Awan.
See following facts to understand the above argument:
- Ad published on 29 Jan 2013: CA or MBA Finance
- Ad published on 14 Feb 2013: CA/FCA/CFA/CPA/CIMA
Changes in Experience/Profile of Member (Finance)
In advertisement published on 29 January 2013, it was clearly stated that the Member (Finance) should be responsible for assuming a leadership role of all financial and economic matters relating to all regulatory issues such as competition monitoring, license fee determination, tariff fixation, interconnect pricing, taxation of the sector, adjudication of financial disputed, drafting of regulations, effective financial management and efficient internal control systems and activities incidental to the functions and powers of PTA.
But all this has been totally taken out and replaced with general management experience in the revised advertisement published on 14 Feb 2013 just to qualify the favourite one because he lacks all these skills/ experience required for this.
Requirement of PEC Registration for Member Tech
Registration with Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) is a MUST under the law of becoming a professional engineer (PE) and holding any technical position. Being a professional engineer and registered with Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) has always been a requirement for the position of member (Technical) in PTA.
This requirement was also included in the recent advertisement appeared on 29 Jan 2013 but after knowing the profile of all candidates who applied against the advertisement, PEC registration requirement was EXCLUDED from the re-advertisement published on 14 Feb 2013 just to allow entry to some favourites, who do not meet this requirement of the law.
- Ad published on 10 April 2002: PEC Registration included
- Ad published on 15 Sept 2008: PEC Registration included
- Ad published on 29 Jan 2013: PEC Registration included
- Ad published 14 Feb 2013: PEC Registration Excluded
Baring Dual Nationals:
Since, neither Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act nor the Constitution of Pakistan bars dual nationality holders for holding office of member (finance, Tech) or Chairman PTA, this illegal addition in eligibility part of the advertisement is revealing that this condition has been included to stop some known candidate from applying for the post.
I am not concluding anything here, rather I will invite you to draw a conclusion yourself and share it in below comments.
I would also want you to comment on the free-hand that we give to our elected government and the way they mis-use it for straight five years in doing whatever they want to, without any questioning, obligation or responsibility.
Is it really possible or even worthy to change the law/requirements or anything without even considering the impact on the economy, country and the industry?