The government on Friday notified eight private sector professionals on the board of directors of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to ensure smooth functions of the policymaking of the central bank amid challenging external account position.

In a notification issued by the Ministry of Finance, the new directors on the board include Dr Ali Cheema from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Dr Akbar Zaidi of Institute of Business Administration Karachi (IBA), Dr Tariq Mahmood Pasha, an aide to former finance minister Ishaq Dar, and Najaf Yawar of Government College University Lahore.

The new directors also include Fahad Anwar of Al-Karam Textiles, Nadeem Hussain, a former chief executive of Tameer Bank and the spouse of federal minister Sherry Rehman, Mahfooz Ali Khan, former secretary of finance of Balochistan and Zahid Fakhruddin Ebrahim, son of Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim.

The notification said the appointments had been made by the president on the recommendation of the federal government and would remain applicable for five years with immediate effect. Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced on Thursday to notify new members of the board of directors to be followed by the appointment of governor SBP next week. The board completed its term on Friday.

Under the SBP Act, the government is required to appoint eight non-executive directors for a term of five years. The board is responsible for the oversight of affairs and functions of the central bank and to supervise the management.

The said act requires that the board, with the exception of the powers entrusted to the Monetary Policy Committee, shall perform, define and determine policies of the bank regarding the execution of its functions, and approve internal rules for their implementation, and oversee foreign exchange reserve management and approve strategic investment and risk policy.

The board is required to submit a quarterly report to parliament on the state of the economy with special reference to economic growth, money supply, credit, the balance of payments and price development.

The board comprises the governor, secretary finance without voting rights and eight non-executive directors, including one from each province. The board is also required to formulate and oversee foreign exchange reserve management, strategic investment and risk policy besides approving the annual budget, annual report and financial statements of the SBP.

The board is required to meet at least six times a year and as frequently as is necessary for the purpose of discharging its responsibilities.

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