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SECP chairman resigns

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Shaukat Hussain tendered his resignation on Thursday.

The SECP notified that the Ministry of Finance has already forwarded a summary to the prime minister for the appointment of the new chairman. Currently there are only three commissioners at the SECP, whereas two commissioners are yet to be appointed the ministry.

Uncertainties, lack of coordination and the absence of top management in regulatory bodies —Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) — have already started affecting routine work in these organisations.

The announcement comes after two weeks of confusion over Hussain’s fate as the SECP chairman after rumours circulating in the federal capital suggested that Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed finance ministry to remove him from the top position.

The confusion began on October 4 before a federal cabinet meeting when one of the SECP commissioners held a personal meeting with President Arif Alvi. The meeting led to speculations within the regulatory body and other stakeholders.

Amid of lack of clarity regarding the leadership within the body, chairman SECP could not attend important meetings held in Karachi on Thursday. Also, a meeting of coordination committee — formed between SECP and central bank — to oversee progress on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements was also cancelled.

Talking to Dawn, PSX Brokers Association (PBA) President Hammad Kehar said, “Most of the brokers don’t know whether the SECP has a chairman or not.” However, he added “The serious issue is that negligible appellate benches have been formed in the SECP for several months.”

Earlier, PBA representatives during a meeting with the finance minister raised their concerns over the prevalent uncertainty at the regulatory body.

The finance minster is scheduled to meet with the PSX management and the representatives of PBA on Saturday in a bid to revive investor confidence in the stock market.

Appointment of CCP chairperson

Meanwhile, according to sources the appointment of an interim CCP chairperson will be difficult for the government as currently there was no member in the commission. Three CCP members including its chairperson were removed from the office following a decision made by the federal cabinet on Oct 4. A notification in this regard was issued on Oct 15.

The government has released an advertisement for the appointment of two members in the CCP. However, there is still confusion in the regulatory body if the government can appoint all five members from the applicants who had applied against two advertised posts.

“This is a serious issue as usually people approach the courts even if there is any slight shortcoming in the appointment procedure,” said an official of the CCP.

Meanwhile, an official of the finance ministry said that CCP members and SECP commissioners are likely to be appointed in two weeks.

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