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Friday May 06 2022
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Dr Murtaza Syed assumes position of SBP's acting governor

State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Acting Governor Dr Murtaza Syed. — Twitter
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Acting Governor Dr Murtaza Syed. — Twitter

  • Dr Syed assumes position of SBP acting governor in light of Section 10(2) of SBP Act 1956 (amended).
  • The change in hierarchy comes after term of Dr Reza Baqir ended on May 4.
  • He has more than 20 years of experience in macroeconomic research and policymaking.


KARACHI: Dr Murtaza Syed, being the senior-most deputy governor, assumed the position of the State Bank of Pakistan's acting governor in light of Section 10(2) of the SBP Act 1956 (amended).

The change in hierarchy came after the term of Dr Reza Baqir (former governor of SBP) ended on May 4 as the coalition government denied him an extension.

According to a notification, the central bank said Dr Syed has more than 20 years of experience in macroeconomic research and policymaking.

He worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for 16 years before resigning to join SBP. At the IMF, he was involved in IMF programmes and surveillance of emerging markets and advanced economies, including the Euro Area, Japan, and Korea, as well as overseeing IMF training and technical assistance programs around the world.

Read more: Pakistan has great strengths to overcome challenges, Reza Baqir says

The notification stated that he also served as the IMF’s Deputy Resident Representative in China between 2010 and 2014.

Dr Syed started his career in the late 1990s as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Islamabad-based Human Development Centre under former finance minister of Pakistan Dr Mahbub ul Haq.

Later, he worked for the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a London-based public policy think tank, where he conducted research projects on business investment and employment behaviour, as well as evaluating Latin American antipoverty programs.

Dr Syed has a PhD in economics from Nuffield College at the University of Oxford. He has published papers on a variety of macroeconomic issues, including fiscal and monetary policy, financial stability, economic crises, investment, demographics, poverty and inequality. He has also delivered lectures on public policy at Cambridge and Oxford Universities.

Contenders for governor's position

Top official sources confirmed to The News that the government is all set to approve the summary to appoint a new SBP governor.

After Eid holidays, the summary is expected to be moved soon to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the federal cabinet to seek approval and then the President will appoint the new SBP governor under the Amended SBP Act 2022.

Under the SBP Amendment Act 2022, the governor and the non-executive directors shall be appointed by the President, upon the recommendation of the federal government taking into account the eligibility and disqualification criteria laid down in this Act.

The deputy governors shall be appointed by the federal government after consultation between the finance minister and the governor, from amongst a panel of three candidates recommended by the governor for each vacant position, in order of merit.

Under Section 14 of the SBP Amendment Act 2022, the governor, the deputy governors, and the non-executive directors shall be appointed for a term of five years and shall be eligible for re-appointment only for one term of five years. No person shall hold the office of the governor or deputy governor after attaining the age of 65 years.

Some top contenders on the list to clinch the top position of SBP governor include:

  • Aasim Hussain — former IMF official
  • Muhammad Aurengzeb — currently serving as President/CEO of Habib Bank Limited
  • Noor Ahmed — former secretary of Economic Affairs Division and currently serving as Pakistan’s Executive Director in the Asian Development Bank based in Manila
  • Shahid Mehmood — former secretary of finance and also served as Pakistan’s representative in the IMF and ADB