ISLAMABAD: Pak Datacom Limited (PDL), a major profit-earning subsidiary of the Telecom Foundation (TF) run by the Federal Ministry of IT & Telecom, which was giving up to eight bonuses per annum to its employees just until two years back, is now facing decrease in revenue to the tunes of Rs278.788 million, thanks to appointments of favourites in violation of all rules and regulations by the PPP government.
MD of PDL Ali Akhtar Bajwa when contacted admitted to The News the losses faced by the biggest TF subsidiary. “See, the telecom sector is facing a general decline in business and this was the major reason of losses and decline in our revenue,” Ali said.
When asked that decrease in revenue as compared to previous period is huge, he insisted that it was the result of decline in business of telecom sector and bad economic conditions. However, it is worth mentioning here that telecom is one of the booming sectors of the economy despite a general economic crunch.
Bajwa, who is son of a former PTCL chairman Akhtar Bajwa was first made CEO of Pak Datacom and was later given acting charge of Managing Director of this TF subsidiary in March 2010.
Later an advertisement was given in national dailies on June 27, 2010 for recruitment of MD of Pak Datacom. This advertisement clearly required an engineering graduate/ MBA/ CA/ ACMA with local and foreign courses in administration and management, having 20 years POST QUALIFICATION experience in relevant field with induction level ‘retired EVP or equivalent Not below BPS 21 from public sector telecom organization’ and that he must be between 45 to 62 years of age.
Ali is only 40 years of age and neither has complete experience nor was eligible because of his age. But being close to Gul Bahadur Yousafzai who being the MD-TF was chairman board of directors of PDL, Ali was appointed on the position last month in May 2011. The result was simple. The biggest profit earning subsidiary of TF faces loss of revenue and sharply decreased profits as numerous illegal and irregular appointments on direct orders of the Yousafzai have been made through the MD of PDL.
Discussing his appointment Ali admitted that his experience was not 20 years and his age was less than the eligibility age limit. “Please ask Yousafzai Sb MD-TF if you want to know as to how I was appointed despite these deficiencies,” Ali said straightforwardly.
One paragraph from summary of the financial report of first nine months of current financial year available on the website of Pak Datacom reads as: “PDL has earned total revenue of Rs491.592 million during first nine months of current financial year as compared to Rs770.380 million of the corresponding period of last year while it has posted pre-tax profit of Rs11.435 million as compared to Rs190.823 million of the same period of last year.”
Ali was appointed in PDL during tenure of his father as PTCL chairman. It is being alleged by the employees of PDL that Ali is favouring different private telecom companies and indulging TF subsidiary in some dubious transactions with them. PDL has paid Rs60 million to one M/s ‘Mefa Solutions’ owned by one Ali Bajwa a close relative of Ali Akhtar Bajwa for ‘stace segment’ (dedicated bandwidth) however same segment hasnot been provided so far.
PDL sources say that it is being attempted to get this Rs60 million payment written off through BoD of PDL. PDL sources also said that vehicles of PDL are in personal use of Yousafzai and Ali is accommodating many individuals in PDL on direct orders of Yousafzai in complete violation of rules.
However, sources further reveal that as Ali is pleasing the top man, Yousafzai, so everything is being considered ‘fair’ by the TF authorities. Ali on being questioned said that nothing was going wrong in PDL and all things were being done under rules and regulations.