LAHORE – The water and power ministry issued notification for the appointment of Zia Latif as Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on interim basis besides changed the CEOs of three other power distribution companies (DISCOs) of the country.

Zia stood seventh in Lesco’s seniority list and had been appointed on interim basis. However, a statement issued by the Lesco did not mention his interim appointment and it stated that Engineer Zia Latif held the charge of the Company CEO on Monday and resumed his work.

The Lesco statement said Zia had a vast experience in serving at key managerial posts in the department. Before his appointment as Lesco CEO, he had served as Chief Engineer (Development), Project Director and on other posts, the statement said.

The ministry appointed Chaudhary Shakil Ahmed as Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) CEO in place of Chaudhary Guftar who enjoyed four years of extension at the key post before his replacement. The chiefs of Quetta Electric Supply Company and Sukkar Electric Power Company had also been changed.

“Since the post of the company chief has key importance in power sector, the government has appointed its own man who can serve the government instead of consumers,” commented an official of a DISCO in a background discussion about the recent development.

The Gepco CEO Mehboob Alam was also appointed by crossing the seniority list, the official added. Similarly, he further said, the appointment of former Lesco CEO Sharafat Sial, who was replaced by Zia, had been made after a legal war between the Lesco’s BoD and the former Pepco managing director. “Peshawar Electric Supply Company CEO is former military officer and his appointment is also being claimed on political basis,” he added.

“There is no criterion for the appointment of a power distribution company CEO. Except the case of two or three, all the current chiefs are the blue eyed persons of either the power minister or any other top political personality,” the official further maintained.

The senior engineers were disappointed over the government policy of pick and choose instead of following the merit in case of appointment on the key posts in the power sector.