PESHAWAR: The controversy over running the affairs of Bank of Khyber (BoK) has deepened as the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government removed the chairman of the bank’s board of directors on Friday evening.
According to an official statement, Dr Hammad Uwais Agha has been replaced with Dr Ihsanul Haq as chairman of the board. K-P’s Ministry of Finance has issued a notification to this effect. Agha was also the additional chief secretary of K-P.
“Agha could work as a member of the board whereas the government has powers to nominate a board member as the chairman,” said K-P Finance Minister Muzaffar Said while talking to The Express Tribune.
“It is not a matter of personal ego, but a question of principles and interests of the province,” the minister said when asked about his opposition to the election of three nominees of Karachi-based Ismail Industries to the board in a meeting held on June 25.
In fact, he added, Maqsood Ismail of Ismail Industries did not qualify to become the board member for a third consecutive term. “He needs to wait for a term.”
Said, through a letter, had called for putting off the June 25 board meeting and holding it on July 1. “All such matters could have been settled in that meeting.”
The K-P government is a major shareholder in the bank with around 70% stake and powers to prepare administrative, management and financial policies. Ismail Industries has about 24% stake.
Agha could not be reached for comments.
However, industrialist Ilyas Bilour has hit out at the finance minister for not allowing the private sector to play its role in the progress of BoK. “Private investors should be encouraged to invest in the bank as the previous K-P government has done,” said Bilour, a senator of the Awami National Party, in a statement.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2015.
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