A three-member committee, constituted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, has suggested in its report that no excessive payments were made to the former acting managing director of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and withholding his pay and perks will not be appropriate.
Being a senior officer of PSO, Amjad Parvaiz Janjua was given the slot of acting managing director in July 2013 to look after the affairs of the company. However, he was suspended in the wake of acute petrol shortages in Punjab in January this year and since then his salary has not been released on charges of higher-than-required pay.
In Janjua’s place, Shahid Islam, Managing Director of Government Holdings Private Limited, was brought in the company, who withheld the salary and perks of the former. Islam had got all powers following the dissolution of PSO’s board of management by the Ministry of Petroleum in the face of the petrol crisis.
“The committee firmly believes that no excess payment has been made to Amjad Parvaiz Janjua and the withholding of his pay and perks is uncalled for. Being a permanent company employee, his pay and perks may be released from the same time along with arrears, if any,” recommended the committee, headed by the petroleum ministry’s joint secretary, in its findings.
The committee observed that the federal government gave Janjua, a senior general manager of PSO, additional responsibility to look after the company’s affairs as the managing director from July 29, 2013.
The board of management, in its meeting held on June 26, 2014, unanimously approved the pay and perks. PSO also got legal opinion from its lawyers, who suggested that the board had the necessary capacity and authority to fix the remuneration. Consequently, the salary was paid to Janjua.
The committee also noted that the board chairman sent a letter on June 27, 2014 to the petroleum minister, conveying the board’s decision about the MD’s salary for information, record and any further action, if required.
“Since it is a principle of law that the salary/benefit once paid to an employee cannot be withdrawn, payments to Janjua in compliance with the board’s decision have become a past and closed transaction,” said the committee in its report.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2015.
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