IT ministry being run on ad hoc basis
ISLAMABAD, June 15: The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has been left at the mercy of acting secretary who is running its affairs on ad hoc basis, Dawn has learnt reliably.
A senior official of the federal government said the IT ministry, being headed by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, was almost lying dormant.
“The posts of managing directors of the Telephone Industries of Pakistan (TIP), Telecom Foundation (TF), Pakistan Software Exports Board (PSEB) and joint secretary development are being run on ad hoc basis,” he said.
The official said the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) too had no permanent chairman for the last five months as Wasi Mohammad Khan, a junior ranking official of the corporation, has been holding the current charge of its chairman since January 2012 when Brig Younas stepped down as its head.
“Ad hocism has put the TF in financial straits as it is being run by a joint secretary, administration, Rashid Bashir Mazari, on temporary basis,” he said, adding while TIP is also managed by a junior ranking officer. The TIP manufactures telephone sets.
However, its management had recently decided to churn out digital electric reading meters but the idea could not be materialised since the government has barred it from going into any new manufacturing business.
The TF, according to an insider of the foundation, used to have a large business of optic fibre laying, plastic pipes, human resource provision for international companies, but all its major ventures has been running in losses since the TF has no
permanent managing director for the last one year.
“The ministry has no interest in expanding the technology business of the TF and TIP,” said the official.
He said the PSEB too was being looked after by the joint secretary. “The secretary of the IT and Telecom hardly turns up to the office as most of the time he is found in the Prime Minister Secretariat,” said one official.
The all important post of the joint secretary, development, has also been lying vacant for the last several months.
An official of the minister’s office told Dawn that Member Telecom Dr Ismail had left the office and was on leave.
Besides the position of director wireless, the post of Member IT too has been lying vacant for the lat six months.
When this reporter tried to contact Raja Pervaiz Asharf, an official in his office, said: “We have recorded your message and the minister will get back to you. At present he is busy in a meeting at the Prime Minister Secretariat.”
However, till the filing of this report the minister could not be contacted. Despite multiple attempts, the acting secretary of the IT and Telecom Farooq Awan and joint secretary administration Rashid Bashir Mazari did not pick up their phones.