ISLAMABAD: Amid a controversy over the delay in import of sugar and wheat, the government has removed the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) chairman and appointed another bureaucrat on deputation.
The government is currently investigating delays in sugar and wheat imports, which has led to a crisis in the country. Meanwhile, the government has appointed a former Commerce Ministry official to deal with the TCP’s affairs.
The Establishment Division informed the Cabinet last week that the Commercial Division has requested for the appointment of a suitable officer to replace Dr. Riaz Ahmed Memon for the presidency of the TCP (PAS/BS-21).
Memon was posted as TCP chairman under Section 10 of the Civil Servants Act, 1973, while he was in BS-20, with the approval of the federal government. Thereafter, he was allowed to remain posted as TCP chairman under the Commerce Division, upon his promotion to BS-21. He was retiring from government service on October 7, 2021 on attaining the age of superannuation. His retirement notification was issued on January 12, 2021.
The Cabinet appointed the Chairman of the Public Sector Companies in accordance with Rule 5 (2) of the Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules, 2013.
The Establishment Division submitted the following panel of officers for consideration for the position of TCP chairman. They included Commerce Division Executive Director General, (C&T/BS-21), Syed Rafeo Bashir Shah, Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Division (PAS/BS-21) Additional Secretary Abdul Aziz Uqaili, AGP Office (PA&AS/BS-21) Deputy Director General(CA&E) Liaqat Ali Memon and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (PAS/BS-21) Secretary Ahsan Ali Mangi.
In view of the above, the Establishment Division proposed that any officer from amongst the panel reflected in order of priority might be transferred and posted as TCP chairman in place of Memon who might be directed to report to the Establishment Division. In case of posting of either of the officers the posting should be on deputation basis, on standard terms and conditions.
In this regard, approval of the federal cabinet was solicited to the proposal.
The cabinet considered the summary and decided that Memon, presently posted as TCP chairman under Section 10 of the Civil Servants Act, 1973, may be transferred and directed to report to the Establishment Division.
Syed Rafeo Bashir Shah, presently posted as Commerce Division Executive Director General, may be transferred and posted as TCP chairman on deputation basis on standard terms and conditions.
Restricts import of Indian films
The Information & Broadcasting Division briefed the cabinet that cinemas and the revival of the Pakistan film industry were interconnected.
While the rebirth of local films was dependent on the increase in number of cinemas, the current revival of cinemas was dependent upon the import and exhibition of foreign films including those from regional countries.
The Pakistani film industry and cinemas together were the ultimate expression of culture and tradition while investment in the industry would benefit the economy. It would boost employment, social benefits by providing affordable entertainment to families, modern infrastructure and present a soft image of Pakistan.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting undertook consultation with relevant stakeholders from the private sector as well as the government including film and cinema industry.
It had been a long-standing demand of Pakistan Film Producers and Exhibitors to allow import of regional films as such movies would revive the Pakistani Cinema Industry and it would also give impetus to the production of local movies.
Summarising the case, the private sector stakeholders had shown enthusiasm at the proposal of allowing films produced in the regional countries.
Based on input from the relevant stakeholders, the ministry was of the view that import of films from the regional countries might be allowed to be exhibited in the cinemas across the country.
Approval of the federal cabinet was solicited to the proposal.
The cabinet considered the summary titled ‘Permission to import Films from Regional Countries’ and approved the proposal with the stipulation that films from India would be excluded.