KARACHI ( Web News )
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Wednesday announced that the three-year term of Dr Reza Baqir as the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has come to an end, ruling out any extension for the PTI appointee.
In a tweet today, Ismail said that Dr Baqir’s term expired on May 4. “As per law the senior most Deputy Governor takes over until [a decision is made on a new governor].”
“Therefore, Dr Murtaza Syed, an eminently qualified economist with rich IMF (International Monetary Fund) experience, will take over as Governor SBP. I wish him the best in his new role,” the finance minister said.
According to the SBP, Dr Syed has more than 20 years of experience in macroeconomic research and policy making and worked with the IMF for 16 years before resigning to join the State Bank of Pakistan.
Dr Syed has a PhD in economics from Nuffield College at the University of Oxford and has delivered lectures on public policy at Cambridge and Oxford Universities.
Yesterday, Ismail had indicated in a tweet that the government would not be providing an extension to Dr Baqir.
“I want to thank Reza for his service to Pakistan. He is an exceptionally qualified man & we worked well during our brief time together. I wish him the very best,” the minister had added.
The government is yet to make an announcement about the appointment of the new SBP governor.
Following Ismail’s announcement, Dr Baqir, in a series of tweets, thanked Allah and his fellow team members for giving him a chance to serve in the public office. “To other fellow Pakistanis, especially overseas, I encourage you to consider public service,” he said.
The former governor also recalled the initiatives the SBP took during his tenure, such as Covid relief packages which included Rozgar payroll loans and hospital financing, Roshan Digital Account, Raast, a framework to licence digital banks in Pakistan, financial inclusion for women, affordable mortgages for lower-income groups and others.
“I want to especially thank Deputy Governors and SBP Corporate Management Team for your teamwork and support. I also want to thank the 4 Finance Ministers and 5 Finance Secretaries I worked with over my 3 years,” he continued.
Dr Baqir said that Pakistan faced several challenges but also possessed “great strengths” to counter them. “I am confident and hopeful that we as a country will make the right choices to overcome the challenges ahead of us,” he added.
Meanwhile, the news of Baqir’s term was termed as “loss for Pakistan” by politicians and analysts on Twitter.