Governor Fazle Kabir left the Bangladesh Bank on Thursday, though he could have had an extra working day had it not been a holiday on Friday – the last day of his extended tenure.
As per the last order of the Public Administration Ministry regarding extension of Governor Fazle Kabir's tenure, he could hold on to the post until he turns 65 years old on Friday (July 3, 2020).
According to the Bangladesh Bank Order 1972, no person can remain in the governor post after the age of 65.
However, to avoid any snag in appointing a governor to the central bank amid the coronavirus pandemic, the government is trying to reappoint Fazle Kabir by bringing an amendment to the relevant provision.
To this end, the cabinet recently approved a draft of the amendment to the law scrapping the age limit for the central bank governor. However, the draft amendment is yet to be placed at the Jatiya Sangsad and there is no possibility of holding any session of parliament before July 8.
What is more, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is now in London for a health checkup.
Since the Public Administration Ministry has not appointed anyone as the new governor as of Thursday night, the central bank has to run without a governor after July 3.
By this time the senior-most deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank, SM Moniruzzaman will receive all mail posted to the governor and will forward them to the departments concerned, said an order of the central bank wing of the Financial Institutions Division of the Finance Ministry.
The order also said that in the absence of the governor, deputy governors SM Moniruzzaman and Ahmed Jamal can take final decisions regarding their respective sectors to keep the routine official tasks going unhindered.
Once a new governor is appointed, the deputy governors will inform her/him about the important decisions they have taken during the time the central bank ran without a governor, according to the order issued on Thursday evening.
ABM Ruhul Azad, additional secretary to the Financial Institutions Division told The Business Standard, "Deputy governors act on behalf of the governor when he is on foreign trips. So, there will be no problem this time also, I think."
The central bank also ran without a governor for a short time earlier, after the sudden resignation of the then governor Dr Atiur Rahman over allegations of failure to prevent a reserve heist.
Although Fazle Kabir was appointed as the 11th governor of the Bangladesh Bank on the very day of Dr Atiur's resignation on March 16, 2016, he joined the office four days later as he was abroad at that time. In those four days – from March 16 to March 19, 2016 – the central bank ran without a governor.
Fazle Kabir's four-year tenure was scheduled to expire on March 20 this year, but it was extended until he turned 65.