The federal government has sacked the Chairman of the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) Zulqarnain Ali Khan for “misuse of power”, and has also dissolved its Board of Directors (BoD).
The decision was taken on the recommendation of the inquiry committee constituted by the Ministry of Industries and Production to probe the alleged misconduct of Khan who had been appointed to the post in November 2018.
As per media reports, the government has formed an interim BoD with the Ministry of Industries and Production Secretary Afzal Latif as its chairman for a period of three months.
The new BoD comprises the Finance Secretary, the Director-General of the Benazir Income Support Programme, the USC Managing Director (MD) Umer Lodhi, and the Director-General of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
There had been reports of rifts between the former chairman and MD Lodhi over its administrative affairs. The Ministry of Industries had written a letter to Khan, seeking an explanation for the alleged allotment of the contract technology up-gradation to his company and the appointment of his relative as a member of the USC’s BoD.
It was also alleged that Khan had overstepped his authority and had spent money on the renovation of his office.
The FIA had been also been investigating the irregularities in the purchases as highlighted by the MD in his letter.
The former chairman had denied all the allegations about him in an interview with the Express Tribune and said that he had decided to step down.
“I have sought time to meet the prime minister. I will hand over my resignation to the premier in the meeting,” Khan said.
He disclosed that when he had spoken about the corruption, the USC MD and MoIP officials had turned against him.
Khan also revealed that he had come to Pakistan from abroad to reform the corporation but had been unable to do much about it as he had not held executive powers.
I have an image and will not allow such allegations to be leveled against me. I do not have the executive powers to stop corruption, so it is better that I resign.
He lamented that the media had never mentioned how he had been offering services free of cost but had reported about the false allegations against him instead.