The government has appointed Dr Saifuddin Junejo chairman of the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA).
The Industries and Production Division, while giving presentation in a cabinet meeting held last week, said that EPZA was an autonomous body under the administrative control of Ministry of Industries and Production, working under the EPZA Ordinance 1980, with the mandate to plan, develop and operate Export Processing Zones across Pakistan.
EPZA management consists of the chairman, who will be appointed by the federal government for three years, on such salary and allowances as may be determined by the government under Section 6 (1) (2) and (4) of the ordinance.
The post of EPZA chairman had fallen vacant on December 8, 2020 after termination of services of Shafqatur Rehman Ranjha. A stop-gap arrangement was made by the industries ministry with approval of the cabinet, giving additional charge of the post to Rizwan Ahmed Bhatti, CEO of Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), for three months.
Meanwhile, the position was advertised in leading national newspapers on March 10 and 11, 2021.
In response to the advertisement, 43 applications were received. After scrutiny, 23 candidates were shortlisted for interview by the scrutiny committee constituted for the purpose.
The committee comprised the minister for industries, who was the chairman, and Adviser to Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms (Prime Minister’s Office) Dr Ishrat Husain, Ministry of Commerce secretary, Ministry of Industries secretary, member (Customs), Federal Board of Revenue and Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) president were its members.
The committee, except for Ishrat Husain who did not participate due to his resignation, after conducting interviews on August 10, 2021, selected a panel of three candidates in the order of merit/ score. They were Dr Saifuddin Junejo, Seema Shakil and Saeed Ahmed.
The Establishment Division and Finance Division conveyed their concurrences on October 11, 2021. Necessary integrity checks of all shortlisted candidates were also conducted and placed on record.
The candidate finalised for appointment will be entitled to the proposed salary package equivalent to the maximum of MP-II scale along with admissible allowances.
The Ministry of Industries requested the federal cabinet to approve one candidate out of the panel for the post of EPZA chairman on the salary package proposed in a summary.
It also requested for regularising the period from March 8, 2021 till the time served by PIDC CEO Rizwan Ahmad Bhatti without any financial remuneration as a stop-gap arrangement.
The cabinet considered the summary titled “Appointment of Chairman, Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA)”, submitted by the Industries and Production Division, and approved the appointment of Dr Saifuddin Junejo.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2021.