BOK management locks horns with KP govt over ‘undue interference’

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PESHAWAR: Finance Minister KP Syed Muzaffar Shah addressing a press conference at Al-Markaz Islami. INP PHOTO
  • KP CM gives minister a clean chit, as JI demands BOK MD’s sacking for ‘maligning’ Said

 

The Bank of Khyber on Saturday accused Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Muzaffar Said of forcing the bank’s management to employ his relatives and acquaintances, promoting employees on the basis of their political affiliations and organizing political meetings at the bank expenses.

The allegations against the minister, affiliated with the Jamaat-e-Islami, were made in the form of advertisements in local English and Urdu newspapers, taking the government by surprise.

The BoK management argued that Finance Minister Said is not the caretaker of the bank and as per law he could not interfere in its affairs as the Board of Directors of BoK was headed by a government-appointed director to protect the provincial government’s interest.

“Therefore the management is not bound to consult the Finance Minister before launching Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS)launched by the Bank Management.

“The VSS has been offered to employees above 50 years of age with five years regular service. The BoK Management made transparent and fair appointment on the basis of merit after taking approval from the BoD. There is no truth in the allegation that the BoK Management made 450 appointments in the Bank and clarified that only 131 appointments were made in 2015 as against approved posts of 180 while it made only three appointments in 2016 as against the budget provision for 233 employees.”

KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattack was quick to reject the charges of the BoK management and ordered an enquiry into the matter.

“The advertisement in the press by the BoK Management is an unethical, illegal action and overstepping from the powers,” the CM stated in a statement.

He said that Finance Minister Said is an honest person.

Said himself rejected the charges, saying he had never interfered in the matters of the BoK or used its funds for JI public meetings.

JI DEMANDS BOK MD’S SACKING:

Reacting angrily to the public advertisements against its party minister, the JI provincial organization demanded Chief Minister Khattak to immediately terminate the services of the bank’s managing director and initiating an enquiry against him for “the character assassination” of the minister.

Addressing a press conference at the JI provincial headquarters in Peshawar, JI KP chief Mushtaq Ahmad Khan said the BOK’s charges against Finance Minister Said were “a pack of lies”.

“The JI will move the court against the BOK managing director for going beyond his domain,” he said.

Khan said that the advertisement was instead a charge sheet against the previous governments who had allegedly made political appointments and given loans to favourites. “JI is proud of its clear record and anti-corruption agenda,” he said.

He said that the Ehtesab Commission has started an enquiry into the appointment of the MD on complaints of the bank’s employees and the CM had formed a committee, but the MD dismissed its two members without any reasons

“A specific lobby is active to privatise the bank and sabotage JI’s efforts to prevent it from Islamising the bank,” he said, adding that the bank “will be Islamised come what may”.