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Muneer Kamal and Dr Raza Baqir top contenders for SBP governor  

After the removal of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor Tariq Bajwa, two strong candidates have emerged for the slot – Muneer Kamal and Dr Raza Baqir.

Muneer, who did his MBA from the University of Karachi in 1979, started his career with Citibank. Subsequently, he also served in Faysal Bank, KASB Bank, National Bank of Pakistan and Union Bank.

During his long banking career, he occupied different senior posts including president, vice-chairman and chief executive officer.

Since 2015, he is a Member of the Board of Directors Engro Corporation.

On the other hand, Dr Raza is an employee of International Monetary Fund (IMF), currently serving as its resident director in Egypt.

Dr Raza Baqir did his PhD from the University of California and is also a Harvard alumni. He is presently serving as the IMF resident director for Egypt. Previously, he was the IMF mission chief for Romania and Bulgaria. He has been associated with the IMF for over 16 years.

Earlier, he also worked at the World Bank and other international monetary institutions.

Both top contenders have a strong banking background, while Dr Raza has been especially associated with the international financial institutions; therefore, people are expecting that the new appointee would be a key factor in executing the IMF demands after the government is able to reach an agreement with the international financial institution.

The basic IMF demands include phasing subsidies in power sector and elimination of circular debt as well as increase in revenue (which means new taxes as the government is unable to broaden tax net) to bridge the budget deficit.

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