Recovery of Rs5.1m: Notice served on former PTV chief
By Khawar Ghumman
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Television Corporation has served legal notice on its former chief Dr Shahid Masood for recovery of Rs5.1 million which he had to pay as per his contract before leaving the organisation.
Acting Secretary Information and Broadcasting Mansoor Sohail informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday that on May 27 the PTVC had sent the legal notice to the former PTV managing director, who also held the additional charge of its chairmanship for some time. The issue came before the PAC when it was scrutinising the ministry’s audit report for the year 2008-09.
The cabinet secretariat vide its notification dated June 21, 2008, appointed Dr Shahid Masood as managing director of PTVC with the additional charge of chairmanship. He assumed the charge on the same date. As per appointment letter dated June 27, 2008, his contract period was five years and in case of early termination of the contract a notice of six months was required from either side or gross salary in lieu thereof. The gross salary of the officer was fixed at Rs850,000 per month.
Dr Masood tendered resignation which was accepted by the prime minister with effect from November 3, 2008. The officer did not serve the notice of six months and, therefore, was liable to pay the gross salary amounting to Rs5.1 million in lieu of the notice period. The irregularity was reported to the management on April 2, 2009, and to the ministry on June 1, 2009.
PAC Chairman Chaudhry Nisar Ali said when it came to public money no favour should be done to anybody; therefore, the committee backed PTVC’s decision to serve legal notice on Dr Masood.
Commenting on the overall working of the information ministry, the PAC chairman said the ministry was keeping its various operations secret which over the years had cast shadow over its affairs. Accepting that the ministry during PML-N’s two terms in power also remained involved in such activities, Mr Nisar called for a serious re-examining of its working. “Until this day, I am unable to understand why the ministry keeps a secret fund,” he said, warning that next time the PAC would like to know each and every penny spent by the ministry.
PTV FOUNDATION: The PAC directed the secretary information, who is also chairman of the PTV, to wind up its foundation whose affairs over the years had gone from bad to worse.
Mr Sohail informed the committee that since taking over the charge of the ministry, he had a couple of meetings with the foundation’s board of directors and found it was not a viable option. In response, the PAC chairman said the committee also recommended the same and was willing to extend help to the PTV administration.
The PTV board of directors in its meeting held on August 28, 2001, had approved incorporation of the PTV foundation. As per its charter, the foundation was established to carry on the business of advertising, publishing, film making, drama production to establish, operate studios, theatres and other institutions for the promotion of science, art and culture. So far the foundation has consumed Rs30 million loaned money but failed to start even a single project.
INQUIRY: The PAC also directed the secretary information to hold an inquiry into reported complaints against Radio Pakistan boss, Murtaza Solangi.