ISLAMABAD: With most people in the country’s financial circles still trying to figure out the main issue behind Shahid Kardar’s decision to resign as governor of State Bank, federal Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has been making last-ditch efforts to persuade him to withdraw his resignation.
Mr Kardar, who had gone back to Lahore after submitting his resignation a few days ago, returned to Islamabad on Thursday on the request of the minister. Sources in the finance ministry said Dr Shaikh had a marathon meeting to iron out the differences with Mr Kardar.
Although both sides were tight-lipped about the outcome of the meeting, a source indicated that there was an outside chance that the central bank governor might reconsider his decision to quit the post.
There have been differences of opinion between Mr Kardar and the government, particularly over the issue of the State Bank’s autonomy.
The pressure from some PPP members for a more liberal policy vis-à-vis government borrowing from commercial banks was also a point of contention. However, mystery remains over the main issue that triggered the extreme action which came soon after Mr Kardar met President Asif Zardari earlier this week.
Officials pointed out that like his predecessor Salim Raza and former finance minister Shaukat Tarin, Mr Kardar had difficulty in persuading members of federal cabinet over financially taming the state-owned enterprises and implementing economic reforms as per promises made to International Monetary Fund.
“While the implementation of economic reforms is mostly a political decision, the heat is being faced by economic managers,” said an official.
Sources in the finance ministry said Dr Shaikh not only had great respect for Mr Kardar but he was also conscious of the negative impact the SBP governor’s resignation would have internationally, including the way it might affect some IMF programmes aimed at assisting Pakistan financially.
Dear visitor, the comments section is undergoing an overhaul and will return soon.