Islamabad:It may be surprising that chief executive officer (CEO) of state-run gas trading company Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) is also holding office of the President of virtual currency American Company, BitLeague.
The companies involved in trading of virtual currencies, coins and tokens in Pakistan are banned and declared illegal. This is a digital currency and there has been a debate in Pakistan that money laundering was not traceable through digital currency.
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had advised general Public on April 6, 2018 that virtual Currencies/Coins/Tokens (like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Pakcoin, OneCoin, DasCoin, Pay Diamond etc.) are neither recognized as a legal tender nor has SBP authorized or licensed any individual or entity for the issuance, sale, purchase, exchange or investment in any such virtual Currencies/Coins/Tokens in Pakistan.
Mody’s Credit Rating Agency had welcomed the initiative of State Bank of Pakistan and said that the prohibition is credit positive because it shields Pakistan’s banks and other financial services entities from the significant risks that virtual currencies pose.
This is financial services company and offers high interest rate Bitcoin Term Deposit Products which are banned in Pakistan. “Bitcoin Term Deposit (BTD) is our first product, following which, we will offer a ZERO commission trading service, allowing our clients to buy/sell bitcoin free of charge.
We are partnered with top cryptocurrency trading firms such as Circle, Galaxy Digital, Genesis Trading, and we intend to tap the institutional borrowing market. Our mission is to bring an integrated, one-stop crypto financial service to our clients,” said A. Gilani, former Goldman Sachs banker and President, BitLeague told Bloomberg on March 29, 2019.
Gilani was appointed as CEO PLL during previous government of PML-N. He was appointed as a chief operating officer (CEO) earlier and was appointed as CEO PLL when Khaqan Abbasi was prime minister. He has been dealing with multi-million dollars LNG contracts after Pakistan started importing LNG to meet domestic requirements of gas.
MD PLL’s Response
MD, PLL has clarified that it has no other employment other than PLL;
MD, PLL is an honourary board member at a non-competing financial company based in the US:
There is no conflict of interest as they neither operate in the energy business nor within Pakistan.
MD, PLL draws no remuneration or any other benefit.There is no overlap in the slightest of business interests with PLL.
There is no bar under Pakistani law to be an honourary board member, as per the following:
Under the Companies Act, 2017, Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules 2013, Public Sector Companies (Appointment of Chief Executive Officer) Guidelines, 2015, there is no bar to be an honourary board member in a non-competing foreign company, as engagement in a fintech company in the US would not amount to any conflict of interest.
Based on the employment contract, if not drawing any remuneration or if that work is not “principal work”, there is no restriction in the employment agreement.
Section 191 of the Companies Act, 2017 requires that “A chief executive of a public company shall not directly or indirectly engage in any business which is of the same nature as and directly competes with the business carried on by the company of which he is the chief executive or by a subsidiary of such company.”