Shahid Kardar tipped as SBP governor
By Khaleeq Kiani
ISLAMABAD: Shahid H. Kardar, a former finance minister of Punjab during early years of Gen Musharraf’s rule, has emerged as a strong candidate for the post of governor of State Bank. The post has been lying vacant for more than three months, triggering a legal issue.
An economist by profession who has been associated with a number of non-governmental organisations, Mr Kardar was inducted by Gen Musharraf as Punjab finance minister soon after the Nawaz Sharif government was toppled in a military coup in 1999. But he quit without completing his three-year tenure, citing difficulties in getting along with the dictatorial policies of the general.
A federal minister in the Shaukat Aziz cabinet said a letter written by Mr Kardar to the then Punjab governor criticising policies of Gen Musharraf had led to his removal.
Informed sources told Dawn that Mr Kardar’s name had been proposed by a PPP federal minister and he was invited to Islamabad for a meeting with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday.
“The meeting went well and the prime minister has cleared him” for the top SBP position, a highly-placed source said.
The source claimed that a notification about Mr Kardar’s appointment was expected in a couple of days, after the president’s approval.
The source said that Mr Kardar’s age would not allow him to complete the full term of SBP governorship. About 10 days ago, the finance ministry had sought immediate appointment of a full-time governor to avoid legal complications on monetary and economic front.
The post fell vacant on June 2 when Syed Saleem Raza resigned for ‘personal reasons’ following legalities surrounding his appointment. Deputy Governor Yaseen Anwar has since been working as acting governor.
Under SBP laws, the government is bound to fill the post within 90 days after it falls vacant. This deadline expired on Aug 31, said a senior official.
Earlier, there were reports that Mr Yaseen Anwar could be elevated to the post.
The finance ministry had informed the government that the decisions and actions taken by the acting governor about the monetary policy and regulation of the banking and financial sector could be challenged in a court of law.