Election Commission of Pakistan Orders Government to De-notify Statebank Appointment
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has taken notice of the appointment of deputy governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, allegedly in violation of its ban on fresh recruitments, and asked the government to immediately de-notify it.
An ECP letter to the secretary of finance said it had taken notice of the appointment of Ashraf Mahmood Wathra as deputy governor of the SBP “despite a ban on recruitment imposed by the Election Commission of Pakistan vide its notification of January 22, 2013”.
It said the ECP had taken a serious view of the appointment without seeking the ECP’s permission and directed the SBP to explain within 24 hours why its directive had been violated.
“In case the requisite explanation is not received within 24 hours, the said appointment will be reversed,” the ECP said.
The State Bank of Pakistan reported to the ECP that in terms of section 10(4) of the SBP Act, 1956, it was the prerogative of the federal government to appoint deputy governors of the state bank for such period as they might determine.
“The federal government has appointed Mr Ashraf Mahmood Wathra as deputy governor (banking), SBP.”
The central bank also reported that the central board of directors of the bank and the SBP management had no authority, under provisions of the SBP Act, to appoint deputy governors and as such the question about seeking the ECP’s permission for the purpose did not pertain to the State Bank of Pakistan.
As a result, the ECP wrote a letter to the secretary of finance and questioned the appointment of the deputy governor for three years.
The EC asked the secretary of finance to immediately withdraw the notification and “a confirmation report may be furnished within two days for placing it before the Election Commission of Pakistan”.
An ECP official said that the Commission had written a letter to the secretary of finance on March 23 and, being a public holiday, it had not yet received a compliance report until Monday. He said that since Saturday and Sunday happened to be holidays, the ECP would wait for the finance ministry’s compliance report till Tuesday and then take a decision.