The government on Thursday accepted the resignation of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Yaseen Anwar.
“The federal government has accepted the resignation of SBP Governor Yaseen Anwar with effect from January 31, 2014,” a brief statement issued by the Ministry of Finance read. “The decision regarding the acting SBP governor will be made today (Friday),” it added.
According to Umer Siddiqui, the SBP spokesperson, Anwar resigned for personal reasons. “He wanted to give more time to his family after his son was seriously injured in a road accident,” Siddiqui said.
Anwar served as head of the country’s central bank for two years. Sources, however, said Anwar decided to quit after he found himself unable to get along with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. He resigned from the post after he was assured he would not be barred from leaving the country, they added. Anwar’s family is settled in Singapore.
The PML-N government originally planned to replace Anwar in October last year. The decision was delayed because of the first review of the IMF loan programme and Anwar’s insistence that he not be pursued legally for any of his actions as SBP governor, sources in the Finance Ministry told The Express Tribune.
A senior government functionary said Anwar never proved himself a good administrator during his tenure. According to sources, he was accused of not doing enough to crack down on exchange market speculators.
Reportedly, Anwar was also uneasy with the finance ministry after it began calling the shots in the central bank on a day-to-day basis.
SBP officials said one of the bank’s three deputy governors would likely take charge of SBP as the acting governor. The usual practice, they added, is to appoint the senior-most deputy governor as the acting governor. Kazi Abdul Muktadir is the senior most deputy governor followed by Ashraf Wathra and Saeed Ahmed.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2014.