A committee formed by Prime Minister Imran Khan has shortlisted five candidates, majority of whom are from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), for appointment as Ogra chairman.
The committee has completed interviews and finalised five names for the position. As many as 26 candidates were earlier shortlisted for the position.
The committee was reconstituted after objections were raised over its earlier nominations as it had a conflict of interest. Committee Chairman Shehzad Akbar removed two members and brought professionals to conduct interviews for the post of Ogra chairman.
Sources told The Express Tribune that the committee had finally shortlisted five candidates out of the 26 shortlisted applicants.
The list of shortlisted candidates would be sent to intelligence agencies for clearance before the cabinet takes its decision. Amongst the shortlisted candidates, three are from the regulatory authority itself.
Dr Abdullah Malik has worked as member oil, however, there has been no work by Ogra in the oil sector. Ogra’s function is to help develop oil storages but oil marketing companies (OMCs) have failed to work on this front and the recent fuel crisis has exposed functions of the regulator in this regard.
The second candidate is Zainul Abideen Qureshi, who is currently working as senior executive director appeals. He had also applied for the post of member oil. Shehzad Iqbal, who is senior executive director gas, has also been shortlisted for the position of Ogra chairman.
The other two candidates are Salman Amin, CFO at the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra). He was appointed as general manager (GM) in Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) during the tenure of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Later, he left the company and joined Nepra. The fifth shortlisted candidate is Salman Qaiserani, currently DDG at the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO).
On the other hand, Pak Arab Refinery Limited (Parco) is being headed for the last 13 years by its current managing director through seeking extensions. Parco is the country’s largest oil refinery, a joint venture between Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Prime Minister’s Office has cleared three names for appointment as managing director of Parco.
The Petroleum Division had moved a summary comprising three names to the PM Office in April this year.
Ahsan Khan is on top among the three candidates for the post of managing director. However, he does not have the experience of working in the refining industry. He had also applied for the post of OGDC managing director but the cabinet did not approve his name. He is also a Canadian national and has experience of working in contracting firms. Shahid Mehmood Khan, another candidate, has been working in Parco as Deputy Managing Director (DMD) for the past 13 years.
So far, the Petroleum Division has made appointments on three key posts in state-run companies which include managing director for PSO, PMDC and OGDC while over a dozen entities are still awaiting the hiring of their heads. When contacted, the Petroleum Division spokesperson confirmed that the PM Office had cleared the summary, which would be tabled before the cabinet for approval. However, he refused to make further comments.