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Pak Datacom struggles as profit goes down

ISLAMABAD: Investments of over Rs340 million from general public and companies in a listed public sector company – Pak Datacom Limited – are at stake, as the company’s administrative and financial affairs have gone haywire in the past three years.

Its profit plunged to very low levels by the end of June 30, 2016 while the chief executive remains in the office despite expiry of his three-year service contract earlier this year.

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Chief Executive Brig retired Muhammad Irshad Khan Kayani has got a three-year service extension from the company board, which the Ministry of Law says it is irregular and illegal.

Under the Public Sector Companies Appointment of Chief Executive Guidelines of 2015 of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), the chief executive can only be hired through competitive process in a transparent manner.

The Ministry of Information Technology has repeatedly asked Kayani to leave the office, said Aftab Bhatti, Chairman of the Pak Datacom board of directors.

Bhatti confirmed to The Express Tribune that Kayani’s contract extension was irregular, as the board did not have the authority to give such an extension. Discussions with officials of the company, board members and the Ministry of Information Technology revealed that Pak Datacom’s affairs were not going to improve any time soon, as vested interests had joined hands.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Kayani said the board of directors was empowered to extend the contract as Pak Datacom was a public listed company.

He said the company’s financial position was much better compared to four years ago when its clients were thinking of leaving the company. “The financial position will get much better by the end of this fiscal year,” he added.

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Company’s govt ties

Pak Datacom is one of the leading communication services providers of the country and is responsible for providing services for the country’s three armed forces, law enforcement agencies, the State Bank of Pakistan, commercial banks, telecommunication companies and airlines.

Pak Datacom is a subsidiary of Telecom Foundation, which has 55% equity in the company, whereas general public and foreign investors made 45% investments in it.

The Telecom Foundation works under the Ministry of Information Technology according to the government’s rules of business of 1973.

Pak Datacom was incorporated as a private limited company in July 1992 and was subsequently converted into a public limited company in June 1994.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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