Note for the Hon’able Prime Minister of Pakistan
My Dear Sir,
I wish to draw your kind attention towards a very serious issue which relates to the bread and butter of more than 26,000 poor families of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited “PTCL.
At the time of transformation of Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation “PTC” into PTCL in the year 1996, the terms and conditions of those employees which were transferred from PTC to PTCL were protected under Section 35 and 36(2) of the Pakistan Telecommunication (reorganization) Act, 1996. These transferred employees commonly known as “regular employees” in PTCL are treated as government employees.
Thereafter at the time of privatization of PTCL the terms and conditions of these transferred/regular employees were also given protection under clause 16.2 of Shareholders Agreement duly signed between the President of Pakistan and ETISALAT International affecting the transfer of only 26% of PTCL’ share to ETSALAT.
The Government of Pakistan still being the majority shareholder in PTCL is supposed to oversee and manage this Shareholders Agreement in order to protect the valuable interests involved therein in shape property, equity and human resource of Government of Pakistan.
The overseeing power of the interest of government and people of Pakistan is also enumerated in Shareholders Agreement which is the joint responsibility of Ministry of Information and Telecom, Ministry of Privatization but unfortunately both the concerned ministries and their incompetent bureaucracy has absolutely failed to perform heir obligations and duties in this regard.
The people friendly Government of Pakistan considering the economic conditions of the country has recently given 50% salary raise to all government employees which was automatically applicable to “transferred employees/regular employees” of PTCL but the foreign management of PTCL which is already in reluctant to give this 50% salary raise to its regular employees manifestly violating the crystal clear provisions of Pakistan Telecommunication (re-organization) Act, 1996 and covenants made in the Shareholders Agreement.
The most unfortunate part of the story is that the civil bureaucracy sitting in the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom, Ministry of Privatization and Ministry of Finance which was supposed to protect the interest of the labourers and the poor people of Pakistan is illegally unlawfully and callously serving their own interest and showing inclination to support the illegitimate and unwarranted wishes of the foreign management of PTCL (the status of which is yet to be decided by the Hon’able Sindh High Court where a petition titled as Haji Khan Bhatti vs. PTCL challenging the privatization of PTCL is pending adjudication).
Once the management of PTCL succeeds in connivance of bureaucrats, the effect of this move will be catastrophic and it will plunge more than 26000 families to transferred/regular employees of PTCL in to poverty and hunger which will not only create a severe humanitarian crises but also a law and order situation countrywide which the country cannot afford at this juncture.
In addition to above-mentioned aspects, many other irregularities of grave concern indicating that the affairs of PTCL are currently being managed as personal dynasty. As reported, few mentionable are e.g. there is no human resource manual for contractual employees (highly arbitrary decision making), the deputed SEVP Human Resource is a not competent and qualified resource, powers of the PTCL Board of directives are intentionally being avoided like splitting of project costs and appointment of senior executives. Highly flawed procurement system and project management systems have been put in place; these leave abundant space for arbitrary decisions, contracts and corruption in access of billions.
Therefore, viewing the aforementioned state of affairs the PM may like to direct all concerned to act strictly in accordance with law and not to act in defiance of provisions of Pakistan Telecommunication (re-organization) Act, 1996 and covenants made in Shareholders Agreement. One suggested measures for kind approval of the Prime Minister is to direct for immediately holding Tripartite Talks, Our Political Government should accept and assert its role being the custodian of rights of labor and interests of majority stakeholder, secondly also as mediator between the labor and management.
Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa
Advisor to Prime Minister on IT