Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Shahid Masood resigns as PTV MD, made PM’s special assistant

ISLAMABAD: Dr Shahid Masood on Monday tendered his resignation as Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) chairman/managing director.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s House said Prime Minster Yousuf Raza Gilani accepted Masood’s resignation and appointed him as his special assistant with the status of a minister of state with immediate effect.

The Cabinet Division issued a notification in this regard.

Tensions between Masood and Information Minister Sherry Rehman were running high, with the minister repeatedly complaining about the former chairman’s defiance of official orders. Daily Times learnt that the Presidency had asked Masood to tender his resignation a couple of days back.

Official sources said Information Secretary Ashfaq Gondal would assume the charge as PTV chairman, in accordance with past practice.

Earlier, newspapers had reported that the Information Ministry was apprehensive of Masood’s decision to increase salaries and perks at a time of financial crunch, saying it had made the network dependent on borrowings and mortgages.

The ministry had also been dissatisfied by the corporation’s audit under the chairmanship of Masood, which differed sharply from a report by his predecessor, Yousuf Baig Mirza.

Masood’s report showed PTV in poor financial and operational situation and beset by massive irregularities.

But Mirza’s report had claimed a profit of Rs 240 million “after making all possible provisions for expenses”. The Finance Department had confirmed the figure.

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