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Wednesday May 04 2022
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Reza Baqir’s tenure as SBP governor expires as govt decides against extension

State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir. — Reuters/File
State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir. — Reuters/File

  • Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announces that SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir’s three-year will expire today.
  • “I have spoken to him and told him of the government’s decision," Ismail says.
  • Dr Baqir was appointed as the governor of the central bank by President Arif Alvi on May 4, 2019.


ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail Tuesday announced that no extension has been granted to Reza Baqir as State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) governor as his three-year tenure expires today (Wednesday).

Taking to his official Twitter handle on Tuesday, Ismail revealed that SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir’s three-year will expire May 4.

“I have spoken to him and told him of the government’s decision," he wrote, acknowledging his efforts during these three years.

“I want to thank Reza for his service to Pakistan. He is an exceptionally qualified man [and] we worked well during our brief time together. I wish him the very best,” the finance minister wrote.

Read more: What is SBP Governor Reza Baqir's monthly income?

Earlier, citing sources, The News had reported that the government was considering an extension in Dr Baqir’s tenure until a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is finalised.”

Sources had confirmed the publication that efforts were underway for securing a second term for Dr Baqir, a former executive of IMF, and the government was likely to consider, “a few months” extension in his tenure as a "stop-gap arrangement”.

Who is Reza Baqir?

Dr Baqir was appointed as the governor of the central bank by President Arif Alvi on May 4, 2019, for a period of three years from the day he assumes the office of the Governor. He assumed his responsibilities on May 5, 2019.

In addition to his regular responsibilities overseeing financial and monetary stability in the country and promoting sustainable economic growth, Dr Baqir had led several key new initiatives at the State Bank since assuming office. These include:

  • An aggressive, targeted, and timely economic support package in response to COVID-19;
  • Creation of the Roshan Digital Account initiative to digitally onboard Pakistan’s diaspora into Pakistan’s banking system and provide incentives to use formal channels to remit and invest in Pakistan;
  • Launch and implementation of the National Payments Strategy to promote the digitisation of financial services in Pakistan including a faster payment system Raast;
  • Creation of a comprehensive programme to promote the construction and housing finance, especially for low-income segments of society;
  • Development of a dedicated policy to reduce the gender gap in financial inclusion called Banking on Equality, as well as several other initiatives.

Prior to this appointment, Dr Baqir had eighteen years of experience with the IMF and two years of experience with the World Bank. He was the Head of the IMF's Office in Egypt and Senior Resident Representative since August 2017. 

Read more: SBP governor pledges 'timely policy actions' amid political crisis

He had also held positions as IMF’s Mission Chief for Romania and Bulgaria, Division Chief of the IMF's Debt Policy Division, Strategy, Policy and Review Department, overseeing IMF’s work on debt relief and sovereign debt restructuring, head of the IMF delegation to the Paris Club for four years, and Deputy Division Chief of the Emerging Markets Division overseeing IMF’s loans and policies in emerging markets, amongst other roles.

Dr Baqir represented the State Bank of Pakistan on the Board of Directors of the Asian Clearing Union, the Board of Governors of the Economic Cooperation Organization Trade and Development Bank, the Council of Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the Financial Stability Regional Consultative Group for Asia, and the IMF’s Board of Governors.

He was appointed as Chairman of the General Assembly of the prestigious Islamic Financial Services Board for 2022.