The two posts have been vacant since the finance ministry in March 2016 had asked Abul Quasem and Nazneen Sultana to step down
Bangladesh Bank is set to fill up the two vacant posts of deputy governors after a gap of few years after the finance ministry recently forwarded a host of names to the Prime Minister’s Office for approval.
The candidates include BB Executive Directors Md. Serajul Islam, who is also the central bank’s spokesperson; Kazi Sayedur Rahman; Humayun Kabir; Md. Shah Alam; and Md Ali Hossain Prodhania, managing director of Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB), Dhaka Tribune has learnt.
The two posts have been vacant since the finance ministry in March 2016 had asked Abul Quasem and Nazneen Sultana to step down following the $101 million heist from the BB’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the previous month.
The process to fill in the two posts, which has been in the works for quite some time, hit the roadblock thanks to the global coronavirus pandemic.
In October 2019, an advertisement was published in newspapers for the two vacant posts.
The search committee, assigned with recommending a shortlist of competent candidates, was scheduled to sit to review applications and conduct preliminary interviews, according to senior officials of the central bank.
But the committee, led by noted economist Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, postponed the meeting due to the pandemic.
Considering the infectious nature of the pathogen, the committee proposed to hold the meetings online instead, which the BB objected to and insisted on physical meetings.
Amid the standoff between the BB and the search committee, the recruitment process had remained virtually stagnant.
Now, the finance ministry has forwarded the names to the PMO, superseding the search committee -- a move that has caused grumbles among a section of central bankers.
“This is not unusual. A search committee is not mandatory,” a BB high official told Dhaka Tribune requesting anonymity to speak candidly on the matter.
The finance ministry, on behalf of the government, can select candidates for the post as per rules as it is a contractual job.
Dhaka Tribune spoke with a host of BB officials yesterday and many expressed reservations about Prodhania as he is not a central banker.
However, there has been a precedence of non-central bankers assuming the role: Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled, who served as the MD of state-owned lenders Sonali, Agrani and BKB before assuming the role of BB deputy governor in 1998.
Prodhania was appointed the MD of BKB in 2018. Before that, he had served as the deputy MD of Agrani and BKB.