Govt sacks USC chairman, dissolves BoDs | The Express Tribune

The federal government on Monday terminated the services of Utility Stores Corporation Chairman Zulqarnain Ali Khan over “misuse of power” as well as dissolved the board of directors of the corporation.

The federal government had appointed Zulqarnain as chairman in November 2018.

The step was taken on the recommendation of the inquiry committee formed by the Ministry of Industries and Production to look into the alleged misconduct of the USC chairman.

According to sources, the federal government has formed a new board of directors with the Ministry of Industries and Production Secretary Afzal Latif as its chairman for a period of three months.

The new board includes finance secretary, Benazir Income Support Programme director general, USC Managing Director Umer Lodhi and Federal Investigation Agency director general as its members.

In this regard, The Express Tribune tried to contact the USC spokesperson and Zulqarnain but they did not answer the calls.

It is pertinent to mention that there was a rift going on for quite some time between the USC chairman and MD Lodhi over the administrative affairs of the corporation.

The Ministry of Industries and Production had written a letter to Zulqarnain, seeking a reply from him over allegedly giving the contract of technology upgradation to his company and appointing one of his relatives as the corporation’s board member.

The ministry also said that exceeding his authority, the USC chairman had spent money on renovating his office.

After USC MD Lodhi wrote a letter to the FIA to probe into the irregularities in the purchases made for the USC, the MoIP also sought a reply from Zulqarnain.

On being contacted by The Express Tribune, Zulqarnain, who was the chairman at that time, said that he had not seen the details of the letter and denied giving the technology upgradation contract to his company or appointing his relative as a board member.

He said that he had decided to resign.

“I have sought time to meet the prime minister. I will hand over my resignation to the premier in the meeting,” he said.

The chairman observed that when he spoke about corruption, the USC MD and MoIP officials turned against him.

“I have come from abroad to bring improvement [in the system] in Pakistan. I have an image and will not allow such allegations to be levelled against me,” he said.

“I do not have the executive powers to stop corruption so it is better that I resign. It has not been told anywhere that I offer my services for free. The premier had asked me to conduct an audit,” he added.

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