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By Mehreen Zahra-Malik
ISLAMABAD Jan 30 Pakistan's central bank
governor, Yaseen Anwar, stepped down on Thursday, Finance
Ministry officials said, with other officials citing policy
differences between the governor and the finance minister.
Finance Ministry officials said one of Anwar's two deputies
would temporarily fill his post.
"Yaseen Anwar has resigned as governor of the State Bank of
Pakistan," said Finance Ministry spokesman Shafqat Jalil. "He
has cited personal reasons for his decision."
Last month, the IMF saved Pakistan from a possible default
by agreeing to loan it $6.7 billion over three years after it
promised to privatise loss-making state institutions, reform a
faltering energy sector, expand Pakistan's tiny tax base and cut
Pakistan's economy has grown on average 3 percent a year for
the last five years and is beset by high unemployment, frequent
power cuts, sectarian bloodshed and a Taliban insurgency.
Senior officials in the foreign ministry said the "personal
reasons" cited by the Finance Ministry for Anwar's resignation
were a cover for differences with finance minister Ishaq Dar.
"They have completely different views on how to tackle
rising inflation and falling foreign exchange reserves," said
one official, requesting anonymity as he was not authorised to
speak on the issue.
Another official said Anwar was unhappy with last week's
appointment of Saeed Ahmed as deputy governor of the central
bank. One of Anwar's two deputies, Ahmed and Ashraf Wathra, will
assume acting control of the State Bank.
Anwar, 62, was the fourth central bank chief appointed under
the previous Pakistan People's Party government. His departure
reflects the difficulties Pakistan has had in attracting and
retaining qualified officials in government service.
He took the job in October 2011 when the previous governor
resigned citing differences of opinion on policy. Anwar had
previously served as the bank's deputy governor.
He has 33 years' of banking experience in cities including
New York, London and Paris, and has worked at American banks JP
Morgan, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.
(Editing by Robert Birsel and Hugh Lawson)