Dr Murtaza Syed assumes position of SBP acting governor

Dr Murtaza Syed assumes position of SBP acting governor

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

In the light of Section 10(2) of the State Bank of Pakistan Act 1956, (amended), Dr Murtaza Syed, the senior-most deputy governor, assumed the position of acting governor.

The change in hierarchy occurred after Dr Reza Baqir’s (previous governor of SBP) term expired on May 4 and due to the coalition government’s refusal to extend it.

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

He spent 16 years with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before leaving to join SBP. He worked at the IMF on IMF programmes and monitoring for emerging markets and advanced economies, such as the Eurozone, Japan, and Korea, as well as directing IMF training and technical assistance programmes around the world.

He also worked as the IMF’s Deputy Resident Representative in China from 2010 to 2014, according to the notification.

Dr. Syed began his career in the late 1990s as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Human Development Centre in Islamabad, where he worked under former Pakistani Finance Minister Dr. Mahbub ul Haq.

Later, he worked for the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a public policy think tank based in London, where he did research on business investment and employment behaviour, as well as reviewing Latin American anti-poverty programmes.

Dr. Syed earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Oxford’s Nuffield College. He’s written papers on fiscal and monetary policy, financial stability, economic crises, investment, demographics, poverty, and inequality, among other macroeconomic topics. He’s also delivered public policy lectures at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford.

Candidates for governor’s office

The government is set to approve the summary to nominate a new SBP governor, according to top official sources.

Following the Eid vacations, the summary will be sent to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the federal cabinet for approval, and the President will appoint the new SBP governor under the Amended SBP Act 2022.

The governor and non-executive directors will be appointed by the President on the suggestion of the federal government, subject to the eligibility and disqualification criteria set forth in the SBP Amendment Act 2022.

The deputy governors will be selected by the federal government after consultation with the governor and the finance minister, from a panel of three candidates proposed by the governor in order of merit for each vacant position.

The governor, deputy governors, and non-executive directors will be appointed for a five-year term under Section 14 of the SBP Amendment Act 2022, and will only be eligible for re-appointment for one five-year term. After reaching the age of 65, no one may hold the post of governor or deputy governor.

The following are some of the top contenders for the position of SBP governor:

  • 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

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