On Saturday, a committee led by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will examine candidates for the job of President of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).
Acting NBP President Rehmat Ali Hasnie, Adnan Alley Agha, Mudassar H. Khan, Tahir Yaqub Bhatti, Tariq Ghuman, Usman Shahid, and Javed Qureshi, according to sources, have been shortlisted for the role of NBP President.
The acting NBP president was not shortlisted in the last hiring process, but insiders say he is now the favourite for the President/CEO role due to his contacts with coalition government associated parties.
According to sources, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) lodged audit complaints against Hasnie, claiming that he was promoted to the rank of SEVP through deception or fraud. The HASCOL affair also involved the acting president.
According to reports, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had also instructed NBP to provide information on 20 officers, including Hasnie, in an illegal appointments case. He has been serving as interim president since May 20, 2022.
Adnan Alley Agha, the other applicant, was likewise employed by NBP as SEVP & Group Chief/Chief Risk Officer, Risk Management Group. In its interim report, Pakistan’s Auditor General expressed audit concerns over his nomination.
AGP claimed that NBP management had shown excessive favour to the incumbent at every turn. In his appointment, the necessary rules/policies were ignored. Thus, the appointment and payment of Rs. 24.208 million (Rs. 2,017,382 per month from April 2020 to March 2021) was deemed irregular and unreasonable.
According to sources, he is accused of receiving two salaries at the same time (one from NBP and the other from a Manila-based organisation), and when an application was filed with the FIA, he fled the country.
It is worth noting that the Ministry of Finance presented his name for the position of NBP president a few months ago, but the cabinet rejected it and asked the Finance Division to find another candidate.
Another contender, ex-SEVP NBP Usman Shahid, was also embroiled in the HASCOL controversy and was detained by the FIA for a few days before being granted release by the court. He is currently employed as the Chief Risk Officer at Bank Islami, but banking officials believe he is the best contender for the role.