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The federal government on Thursday approved the appointment of former State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra as chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) for a period of three years.

“In exercise of powers conferred under Section 11(3) (a) of the Banks (Nationalization) Act 1974, the Federal Government is pleased to appoint the following as ‘Chairman/ Directors on the Board of Directors of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) for a term of three years subject to clearance of fit & proper test criteria of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP),” read the Finance Division notice.

Nasim Ahmad and Ali Syed have been appointed as NBP directors.

"In addition, Additional Finance Secretary (IF), Finance Division shall be Ex-Officio Director on the Board of NBP," added the notice.

Last month, the finance ministry 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.

Back then, the Board of Directors of the NBP did not have a chairman, president and four directors. As a result, the Board of NBP was dysfunctional since April 16, 2022 due to less than the minimum required five directors on the board.

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

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

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