Reza Baqir’s three-year term as SBP governor comes to an end

LAHORE – Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has thanked Reza Baqir “for his service to Pakistan” and praised him as “an exceptionally qualified man”.–Photo courtesy SBP (Twitter)

LAHORE — State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir completed his three-year term in office on Wednesday.

As per law, senior most Deputy Governor Murtaza Syed is going to take charge as acting SBP governor until the government finds the right man to head the central bank.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail announced the government’s decision to let Baqir go. He posted on Twitter, “As the term of Governor SBP Dr Reza Baqir has come to an end, as per law the senior most Deputy Governor takes over until. Therefore, Dr Murtaza Syed, an eminently qualified economist with rich IMF experience, will take over as Governor SBP. I wish him the best in his new role.”

On Tuesday, Ismail thanked Baqir “for his service to Pakistan” and praised him as “an exceptionally qualified man”. He wrote, “Tomorrow Governor SBP Dr Reza Baquir’s 3-year expires. I have spoken to him and told him of the government’s decision. I want to thank Reza for his service to Pakistan. He is an exceptionally qualified man & we worked well during our brief time together. I wish him the very best.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Baqir made an announcement on Twitter about completion of his term as SBP governor and thanked God for giving him an opportunity to serve Pakistan.

He wrote, “Alhamdulillah tomorrow I complete my 3 years as Governor of our central bank @StateBank_Pak. Allah has been kind to give me the chance to serve my country in public office. To other fellow Pakistanis, especially overseas, I encourage you to consider public service.

“In my time at SBP I am particularly proud of several new initiatives I was able to lead at our central bank: (a) SBP’s Covid response packages and many new facilities for the 1st time in SBP history TERF, Rozgar payroll loans, hospital financing, etc.

“(b) Roshan Digital Account to connect overseas Pakistanis with our banks (c) Raast, our 1st instant & free payment system—try it: (d) framework to license digital banks in Pakistan—a 1st that promotes inclusion and innovation

“(e) financial inclusion especially of women with Banking on Equality (f) promoting affordable mortgages for low income people (g) institutional strengthening of SBP by hiring 3 top class Deputy Governors; and many other areas

“I want to thank all my SBP colleagues whose hard work made these initiatives possible. You did most of the work. My role was to provide the strategic vision, bring out the innovative ideas inside you, push you to achieve your potential, and assure you that I have your back.

“In my view you are a pillar for our economic stability. I want to especially thank Deputy Governors and SBP Corporate Management Team for your teamwork and support. I also want to thank the 4 Finance Ministers and 5 Finance Secretaries I worked with over my 3 years.

“We face several challenges but also have great strengths as a country to address them. I am confident and hopeful that we as a country will make the right choices to overcome the challenges ahead of us.”

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