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Govt to review HR policy for state-owned enterprises

Anaan Bushry
30 March 2023, MVT 12:30
STO Annual General Meeting 2018 / MIHAARU FILE PHOTO
Anaan Bushry
30 March 2023, MVT 12:30

The Privatisation and Corporatization Board (PCB) on Tuesday said it is reviewing the policies of state-owned companies that incorporate additional allowances, redundancies, and retirement packages for their board members into the rules.

The board Chairman, Mohammed Asim, told Mihaaru news that the allowances, redundancies, and retirement packages have been suspended in all state-owned companies. This is because the HR policies of SOEs are being reviewed with the help of a consultant.

''The work was first started in 2021. It was part of our work with the Parliament's Committee on SOEs. An audit of the HR policies of all SOEs was conducted that year. At the time, it was noticed that some companies did not have the necessary rules or policies in accordance with employment laws. It is clear that some of the rules approved by the boards of companies are against best practises, and some of the practises being followed are against what this board has asked to follow," Asim said.

"Therefore, the board has decided to prepare a best practice-based harmonised HR manual or guideline for all SOEs, and we will be sharing it with the companies. The work is being carried out with the help of another consultant who was hired last year. It is expected to be completed by the third quarter of this fiscal year."

In 2021, PCB introduced its policy on the payment of allowances to managing directors, board members, and company secretaries of SOEs.

"Outside of that [policy], we don’t think the boards of companies can decide on additional allowances for those appointed by us," Asim said.

Pointing out that it is PCB's mandate to review, monitor, and evaluate HR policies, Asim said it is a matter of concern for the general public that different companies are acting differently.

PCB also highlighted that it is a matter of concern that companies adopt and implement procurement policies however they see fit.

"We want all companies to have good practises, and all policies should be in order so that they don't lead to corruption. So, if we prepare a best practises-based, law-abiding manual, it will be easier for SOEs to be on par," Asim said.

The PCB has also issued a circular regarding the salaries and allowances of board members of companies.

In the circular, the PCB said that salaries and allowances for board members appointed by the government for state-owned companies will be decided by the board after consulting with the finance ministry in accordance with the law.

The PCB said that reviews conducted by the board have found that some companies are making their own rules and offering additional allowances and redundancy packages by incorporating them into the rules.

The board, in its circular, has directed that no company shall pay salaries and allowances in violation of the rules for categorization of state-owned companies and allowances of managing directors, chairman, and board members issued in 2021, as well as the rules for payment of the operational complexity allowance, introduced on November 16, 2021. PCB urged companies to rectify it if needed.

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