Senate Standing Committee on power on Tuesday directed the ministry of power to ensure provincial job quota for all types of appointment in power distribution companies (Discos).The committee was informed that 53,000 jobs vacancies were vacant in all 10 public sector power distribution companies, but the appointments were put on hold. The Secretary Power Ministry Irfan Ali informed the committee that all these power distribution companies were on the privatisation list.”These companies may get privatised at any time and that is why the permanent appointments were banned by the Privatisation Commission”, said Irfan Ali. He, however, said that the Privatisation Commission allowed appointments only in critical cases, meaning for technical positions only.Chief Executive Officer IESCO informed the committee that about 1217 appointments were made in the company in critical cases through NTS base test/interview. The committee directed the ministry of power that all recruitment against vacant posts from sanctioned strength in future should be done in accordance with provincial quota in all DISCOs of the country.The committee directed that this adherence to prescribed quota should be observed for all scales and all types of jobs in the Distribution Companies. The committee was also given detailed briefing on repair and maintenance of transformers by all DISCOs from government workshops and private sector. The committee sought details on why the private sector was approached, despite the presence of Transformer Reclamation Workshops of WAPDA. It was told that the capacity of the WAPDA workshops sometimes could not accommodate the huge members of damaged transformers, especially, in the summer season and private sector was approached only when the number exceeds that capacity. Secretary Power assured the committee members that all PPRA rules were followed when involving private companies and transparency was safeguarded by thorough inspection and third party monitoring.The committee defined the matter of composition, selection criteria, scope of responsibilities and effectiveness of Board of Governors (BOG) of DISCOs so as to study the working paper in detail. The Committee was also given details about the Pehur Hydropower Project and Malakend-III Hydropower project. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Fida Muhammad here at the Parliament House and was attended by Senators Mushahidullah Khan, Muhammad Akram, Molve Faiz Muhammad, Muhammad Ali Shah jamot, Moula Bux Chandio, Ahmed Khan, Secretary Power, Joint Secretary Power, CEOs OF discos and other officials.Published in Daily Times, September 12th 2018.