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Govt appoints Murtaza Syed acting SBP governor

Updated 06 May, 2022
Dr. Murtaza Syed was appointed as Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan by the Federal Government for a period of three years, in pursuance of Section 10(4) of the State Bank of Pakistan Act 1956 (amended) on Jan 21, 2020. Photo via Twitter/@StateBank_Pak/File
Dr. Murtaza Syed was appointed as Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan by the Federal Government for a period of three years, in pursuance of Section 10(4) of the State Bank of Pakistan Act 1956 (amended) on Jan 21, 2020. Photo via Twitter/@StateBank_Pak/File

KARACHI: The federal government has appointed Dr Murtaza Syed acting governor of the State Bank of Pakistan till a full-fledged governor is appointed.

The three-year term of Governor Dr Reza Baqir expired on May 4 and the federal government decided not to reappoint him for another tenure, which is five years since the amendments were made to the SBP Act in 2021.

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail talked to Dr. Reza Baqir and informed him of the government decision. He also thanked former governor for his service to Pakistan. Miftah in a tweet revealed the government decision on the governor SBP and said that Dr Baqir was an exceptionally qualified man and worked well during their brief time together.

According to the SBP Act, at any time when the office of governor is vacant or the governor is incapacitated, the senior most deputy governor shall be the acting governor, until the governor is appointed.

As the term of SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir has come to end and the government has not appointed a governor, as per the law, the senior most deputy governor Dr. Murtaza Syed has taken over the charge of Acting Governor SBP until the appointment of a full-fledged governor.

Miftah also announced the appointment of Dr. Murtaza Syed as acting governor SBP in a tweet: “Dr Syed is an eminently qualified economist with rich IMF experience, who will take over as Governor SBP. I wish him the best in his new role.”

A PhD in economics from Nuffield College at the University of Oxford, Dr. Syed has more than 20 years of experience in macroeconomic research and policy making. He worked with the IMF for 16 years before joining the State Bank of Pakistan.

Dr Syed started his career in the late 90s as a senior policy analyst at the Islamabad-based Human Development Center under former Finance Minister of Pakistan, Dr Mahbubul Haq.

Later, he worked for the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, the UK’s premier public policy think tank, where he conducted research projects on business investment and employment behavior, as well as evaluating two large Latin American antipoverty programs.

Most recently, he served as Advisor in the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development, overseeing the planning and implementation of IMF training and technical assistance programs around the world. Earlier, he was Deputy Division Chief in the IMF’s Strategy, Policy, and Review Department and was involved in IMF programs and surveillance of various emerging markets and advanced economies, including Colombia, Cyprus, the Euro Area, Japan, and Korea.

He also served as the IMF’s Deputy Resident Representative in China between 2010 and 2014 and as IMF mission chief to Macao. He started his career at the IMF in the Fiscal Affairs Department before moving to the Asia and Pacific Department, where he worked on a variety of emerging markets and developing countries.

He has published papers on a variety of macroeconomic issues, including fiscal and monetary policy, financial stability, economic crises, investment, demographics, poverty and inequality. He has also delivered lectures on public policy at Cambridge and Oxford Universities. Sources said the government is considering a number of names for the slot of governor SBP however, the decision may take some time.

The story was originally published in Business Recorder on May 6, 2022.