SBP backs promotions at NBP, negates claims of favouritism

Says changes were made on merit and change in policy did not affect most cases

Shahbaz Rana February 10, 2018
State Bank of Pakistan ,PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Friday that the recent promotions in National Bank of Pakistan were largely done on merit and the change in the promotion policy also did not materially affect the overwhelming majority of the cases, negating claims of favouritism.

SBP Governor Tariq Bajwa shared the findings of the investigation about over 400 promotion cases with the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance. The parliamentary panel had asked the SBP to thoroughly probe alleged misappropriations and favouritism in the promotions of bank's employees.

By and large, there was no major deviation from the new promotion policy, said Bajwa. He said that NBP considered 409 senior officers for promotion to senior vice presidents and executive vice presidents and out of them 63 were promoted.

Those who could not get promotions had approached the members of parliament for their intervention to win promotions. The Members of the National Assembly and the Senate started influencing NBP management to get their favourites promoted to the next grade. NBP president resisted the pressure, inviting wrath of the 'people representatives'.

NBP had prepared the promotions policy on the basis of promotion assessment scoring system (PAAS). For promotion from vice president to senior vice president the criterion was that last year's performance should not be below good. Under the new policy, the weightage of interview for any post of senior level had been enhanced up to 50%, which the committee said increased the discretion of the interview panel.

The SBP governor said that 50% marks by the interview panel was the industry practice and it was not unusual.

For promotion from senior vice president to executive vice president, the criterion was that the score under the PASS should not be below 20.

Bajwa said that NBP reviewed all the 409 cases on three parameters of existing promotion policy, linkage between the annual performance evaluation reports and the scores given by the interview panel and the old promotion policy.

By and large, NBP management's promotion policy was approved by its board, said the governor. On the parameter of linkage between annual appraiser and board scores, the governor said that there was also linkage between the both.

The interview panel comprised of four members for promotions to senior vice president and seven members for executive vice president.

On the last parameter of assessing the promoted and rejected cases on the basis of previous promotion policy, the SBP governor said that had there been old policy, about nine more people would have also been promoted.

PTI's Asad Umar was of the view that nine cases were about 2% of the 409 cases and this should not be a big issue for anybody. It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors of NBP to run the bank legally and efficiently and the standing committee was venturing into an area, which was the domain of the NBP board, said Minister of State for Finance Rana Mohamamd Afzal.

The minister said that he frequently received requested from MNAs to get their favourite persons promoted and those NBP employees who got jobs because of somebody else were now also trying to get promotions in the same manner.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2018.

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