Dr Murtaza Syed takes over as acting governor of State Bank of Pakistan

Murtaza Syed

 Dr. Murtaza Syed, as the senior-most deputy governor, has assumed the position of the State Bank of Pakistan’s acting governor.

After tough resistance from the top management of two mainstream political parties, the PMLN and PPP, the government did not give a second five-year term to the last governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr. Reza Baqir.

Top management confirmed to the media that “now the government is all set to approve the summary for appointing new Governor SBP. After the Eid holidays, the summary will be moved soon to Prime Minister/Federal Cabinet for seeking approval and then President will appoint the new Governor SBP under the Amended SBP Act 2022.”

Read more: SBP directs banks to employ 20% women by 2023

In light of the SBP Amendment Act 2022, the governor and the non-executive executives shall be chosen by the president, upon the reference of the federal government taking into consideration the eligibility and disqualification criteria laid down in this Act.

The federal government has the power to appoint the deputy governors after consultation between the Minister of Finance and the Governor, from between a panel of three nominees recommended by the Governor for each vacant position, in order of merit.

Some of the top candidates which are on the list for clinching the top position of Governor SBP include Muhammad Aurengzeb, who is currently serving as President/CEO of Habib Bank Limited,  Noor Ahmed, ex-secretary Economic Affairs Division and currently serving as Pakistan’s Executive Director in the Asian Development Bank (ADB) based in Manila, and Aasim Hussain, former IMF official. Besides, former secretary of Finance Shahid Mehmood is also included in the list- he had served as Pakistan’s representative in the IMF and ADB as well.

Moreover, the top governance of both PMLN and PPP had rejected the move to grant another term to former Governor State Bank Dr. Reza Baqir.

Publicizing the decision on Twitter, Federal Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail said that “As the term of Governor SBP Dr. Reza Baqir has come to an end, as per law the senior most Deputy Governor takes over. Therefore, Dr. Murtaza Syed, an eminently qualified economist with rich IMF experience, will take over as Governor SBP. I wish him the best in his new role”.

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