Key appointments: NTDC BoD seems to be in intriguing hurriedness

With the change of Secretary Power Division and posting out of an Additional Secretary, the Board of Directors (BoD) of National Transmission & Dispatch Company (NTDC) seems to be in an intriguing hurriedness to announce key appointments of two deputy managing directors (DMDs) and rushing them for assumption of charge, said sources.

According to the sources, the selection process for DMD Asset Development & Maintenance (AD&M) was initiated in Jan 2021 and interviews were conducted in March 2021.

However, the result was withheld and now after almost one year 3 months, a strange notification with a lot of grey areas regarding tenure, date of assumption etc was all of a sudden issued where Manzoor Ahmed was appointed as DMD AD&M dealing with all projects worth billions of dollars.

The sources said his appointment was made vide Company Secretary’s notification No. NTDC/CS/ 570-73 dated 29-3-2022 but it was actually issued on 7-5-2022. Inside sources reveal that a diary number of a particular date is kept vacant to manage such decisions with backdate issuance.

In a similar development, Ali Zain Banatwala was also appointed as DMD System Operations (SO), a new post created by the present BoD on 29-3-2022. Strangely, this notification was also kept secret and now all of a sudden, on 18-5-2022, mentioning Company Secretary’s notification No. NTDC/CS/ 566-69 dated 29-03-2022, GM HR issued notification regarding assumption of charge by Ali Zain Banatwala on 18-5-2022.

Ali Zain Banatwala was member BoD NTDC and he applied for this post without resigning from his position as BoD member. Insider sources reveal that Ali Zain Banatwala who was running a small tier consultancy firm and was working with NTDC on a small project BESS till his appointment as BoD member which is a clear violation of Corporate Governance rules.

Leaving aside his professional acumen/stature, Ali Zain Banatwala could not be eligible as per Corporate Governance which lay down a clear 2 years disengagement period for eligibility to become a Director in that company.

Ali Zain Banatwala was being patronized by an of an Additional Secretary of Power Division who got him appointed director in five different BoDs of power sector organizations including NTDC. It is an unprecedented example of Conflict of Interest.

However, the NTDC sources have pointed out that both the posts were of external nature, advertised last year, and followed by applications from a number of company employees for interview. Both the appointments are made after due process and nothing such hurriedness was ever witnessed on the part of the BoD, they added.

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