Naeemud­din likely to be re-ap­pointed as BoP pres­i­dent

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE - Staff Re­porter LA­HORE

De­spite con­cerns raised by the State Bank of Pak­istan, the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment is likely to reap­point Naeemud­din Khan as Bank of Pun­jab (BoP) pres­i­dent for a pe­riod of one year. The fi­nance depart­ment had re­quested the SBP last month to con­duct a Fit and Proper Test (FPT) of five can­di­dates un­der sec­tion 11(1) of the BoP Act1989 af­ter a se­lec­tion com­mit­tee short­listed them by in­ter­view­ing 120 ap­pli­cants.

"I am di­rected to in­form you that the chief min­is­ter con­sti­tuted a com­mit­tee for the ap­point­ment of a new pres­i­dent for the BoP. The com­mit­tee short­listed Syed Ah­mad Iqbal Ashraf, Tahir Yaqoob Bhatti, Ak­bar Hasan Khan, Naeemud­din Khan and Kausar Iqbal Ma­lik," reads a Nov 13 let­ter sent by the fi­nance depart­ment to the SBP.

"Fur­ther, it has been de­cided that be­fore for­ward­ing the above names to the pro­vin­cial cabi­net for fi­nal se­lec­tion, the SBP will be re­quested to con­duct FPT of the afore­men­tioned can­di­dates," the let­ter, writ­ten by Bi­lal Hasham, Deputy Sec­re­tary, Re­source-II, Fi­nance Depart­ment, said.

The SBP in re­sponse in­formed the depart­ment about its ob­ser­va­tions/com­ments. "Be­ing a reg­u­la­tory au­thor­ity, the SBP doesn't in­volve in se­lec­tion/hir­ing process of any pres­i­dent/CEO of a bank/DFI at any stage. There­fore, un­der the rel­e­vant pro­vi­sions of laws, rules and reg­u­la­tions, it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the com­pe­tent au­thor­ity to ap­point/fi­nalise a can­di­date for the po­si­tion of pres­i­dent, BOP," states the SBP let­ter writ­ten to the fi­nance depart­ment on Dec 12.

While re­view­ing cre­den­tial of the can­di­dates in the light of the re­quire­ment of the FPT's cri­te­ria, the SBP raised con­cerns over Naeemud­din Khan's pro­file. "He (Mr Khan) is al­ready 65 years and 7 months old and will at­tain the age of 70 years be­fore ex­piry of his full term if reap­pointed as pres­i­dent. Fur­ther some ob­ser­va­tions have been raised on his per­for­mance and pro­fes­sional con­duct dur­ing his present ten­ure as pres­i­dent. How­ever, no en­force­ment ac­tion has been taken," reads the SBP let­ter.

While com­ment­ing over the other can­di­dates, the reg­u­la­tor also ex­pressed con­cerns over Syed Ah­mad Iqbal Ashraf. "The pro­posed pres­i­dent/CEO should be be­tween 40 to 70 years of age. Mr Ashraf will at­tain the age of 70 in April 2020 while the BoP act spec­i­fies a term of five years for a pres­i­dent.

Fur­ther, some ob­ser­va­tions were raised on his per­for­mance and pro­fes­sional con­duct as NBP pres­i­dent dur­ing 2014-17.

More­over, re­marks passed by the Chief Jus­tice of Sindh High Court against Mr Ashraf on Sept 29 in a court case No.D-2025 of 2017 (Syed Ali Raza ver­sus Fed­er­a­tion of Pak­istan & oth­ers) may also be seen," it ex­plains.

The reg­u­la­tor ob­served Tahir Yaqoob Bhatti a 56-years old can­di­date, pos­sess­ing req­ui­site ed­u­ca­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence for the BOP's top slot. On Ak­bar Hasan Khan, the SBP ob­served: "There ap­pears sig­nif­i­cant over­due amount in the CIB re­ports of M/S Gal­adari Ce­ment Gulf Ltd as of Oct 31 where Mr Ak­bar hold the po­si­tion as an elected di­rec­tor re­ported in CIB re­ports. In terms of clause (iii) of sec­tion 3 of SBP's FPT cri­te­ria, the pro­posed ap­pointee/pres­i­dent shouldn't be in de­fault of pay­ment of dues owed to any fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion and/or de­fault in pay­ment of any taxes in in­di­vid­ual ca­pac­ity or as pro­pri­etary con­cern or any part­ner­ship firm or in any pri­vate un­listed/listed com­pany."

On Kausar Iqbal Ma­lik, the reg­u­lar said the FPT cri­te­ria re­quires pres­i­dent/CEO to be a ca­reer banker hav­ing at least five years of ex­pe­ri­ence at se­nior level as EVP and above or equiv­a­lent ie group head of fi­nan­cial/busi­ness line in a bank and pos­sess ex­per­tise and skill set to un­der­take re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the po­si­tion ef­fec­tively and pru­dently.

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