Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday formally appointed Ashraf Mahmood Wathra as the governor of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Wathra, who had been appointed as the interim SBP chief after its previous governor Yasin Anwer had resigned in late January, was handed formal charge of the SBP hot seat on Monday.
On April 13 the Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices to the finance secretary, the deputy attorney general and others on a petition challenging Wathra’s appointment as the SBP acting governor in alleged violation of appointment policy.
The appointment was been challenged by an NGO, True Line International Foundation, which took the finance secretary, Wathra and others to the court.
The petition stated that the acting governor of the central bank was in violation of the State Bank Order 1948, service rule and other provisions of law as well as practices protected and guaranteed under the constitution.
On April 23, Wathra admitted that the IMF was not happy with the lack of autonomy that the SBP currently has. “The IMF is not satisfied with the proposed amendments in the SBP Act of 1956 and wanted more autonomy for the SBP,” said Wathra while responding to a question raised by Senate Standing Committee on Finance Chairperson Senator Nasreen Jalil.