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ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet is likely to approve the appointment of former State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Ashraf Mehmood Wathra as chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) for a period of three years.

The Finance Ministry has moved a summary to the Prime Minister’s Office, after the authorisation of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, for approval before placing it to the federal cabinet meeting.

A copy of the summary sent to the Prime Minister’s Office available with Business Recorder stated that as per the Banks (Nationalization) Act, 1974, a bank would have a Board of Directors consisting of a president who shall be the chief executive and no less than five and not more than seven other members as well as a chairman of the board.

The law provides for the appointment of the chairman, the president and other members of the board of a bank by the federal government, in consultation with the SBP for a term of three years.

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At this point in time, the Board of Directors of the NBP does not have chairman, president and four directors. As a result, the Board of NBP is dysfunctional since April 16, 2022 due to less than the minimum required five directors on the board.

There are five positions – chairman and four directors currently vacant on the board.

The summary for the appointment to the position of the president NBP is already under submission to the Cabinet for approval.

The Finance Division in consultation with the SBP has proposed names for the appointment of chairman, directors of the NBP for a term of three years which included: (i) Ashraf Mahmood Wathra as chairman; (ii) Nasim Ahmad director; (ii) Ali Syed director and; (iii) Tariq Mehmood Pasha director.

In addition, the Additional Secretary (Internal Finance), Finance Division, may be appointed as ex-officio director on the NBP Board for effective oversight of the government.

The Cabinet Division in March 2018 had issued directions to seek approval of the prime minister for appointments on Boards of Directors of public sector companies and organisations prior to its placement before the federal cabinet.

Approval of the prime minister is solicited to the proposal made at Para-5 ante for submission of the summary to the federal cabinet. The Minister for Finance and Revenue has seen and authorised submission of the summary.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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Abdullah Gora Dec 27, 2022 02:41pm
Few years back Wathra was Head NBP Dhaka(BD) branch . During his tenure a mega fraud took place resulting in major loss to NBP. He was transferred back home. Dar rewarded him as CEO of NBP. Subsequently, he was appointed Governor of SBP. Neither he was qualified nor had past track record Now he is being made Chairman SBP on what ground - Loyalty to Dar. Similar case is with Saeed Ahmed who was called from UK where he was operating Old Age Home . What a qualification for Sr Management position in NBP & SBP to which he was appointed. That is a v disappointing reflection on PMLN mind set!
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