Taha to head PSO

Aftab Ahmed

Islamabad: Petroleum division has recommended the cabinet to appoint Muhammad Taha as new managing director of state-run Pakistan State Oil (PSO).

Cabinet is scheduled to meet on Tuesday (January 7) chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and would consider a summary moved by Petroleum division to appoint new head of state-run Pakistan State Oil (PSO).

Petroleum division has sent a panel of four candidates to the cabinet division after seeking input of Intelligence agencies. Taha has been named at top of the merit list of four candidates. He has experience of working in PSO, KE and global firms.

The Petroleum division had informed the cabinet that the position of Managing Director Pakistan State Oil (PSO) was advertised in local newspapers on June 30, 2019 and initial shortlisting was done with the help of headhunting firm. The shortlisted candidates were evaluated through an interview by the Board’s Human Resource and Evaluation Committee.

Finally, the board of management after interviewing the candidates and duly shortlisted by Human Resource and Evaluation Committee had recommended a panel of shortlisted candidates with consensus for the position of managing director (MD) Pakistan State Oil (PSO) in the order of preference to seek concurrence of the federal government. The cabinet has been recommended to select one of the candidates for the position of the managing director Pakistan State Oil (PSO).

Syed Muhamamd Taha is at top in the panel of candidates recommended by the Petroleum division and board of directors of Pakistan State Oil (PSO). Second potential candidate is Nadeem Zaman, third one is Jarri Masood Zaidi. The last potential candidate recommended for the position of CEO PSO is Farrukh Saeed.

After receiving the list of recommended candidates from the Board of Management (BoM), Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the petroleum division had sent these names to the Intelligence agencies for clearance. After seeking input from Intelligence Agencies, a panel of candidates had been sent to the federal cabinet to appoint one of the candidates for the position of the CEO PSO. Cabinet will decide on Tuesday next week.

Challenges for new MD

At present the company is facing financial crisis due to failure of the top management to put the house in order. Since PML-N, the focus of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has been on LNG business and its market share has been on constant decline. However, the circular debt had touched alarming level leading to the company to possible financial default.

The present managing director has been holding acting charge since the former managing director left the company following charges of omission and kickbacks in LNG terminal. The current managing director has been giving extension several times due to delay by board of directors in completing process of appointing new head.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has been giving directions to the concerned divisions and ministries to appoint heads to discourage the culture of giving additional charges. But despite all, managing directors of PPL, PSO, SSGC and SNGPL are holding acting charge of the company and these key companies were being run on adhoc basis. ‘So, the key issues would be dealing with circular debt and increasing market share of the company regarding petroleum products which it has lost during the past, industry officials said.

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