Finance Ministry has sent six names to the Prime Minister's Secretariat for the appointment of State Bank Governor, it has been learnt on Monday.

The names proposed for Governor State Bank include Dr. Saeed Ahmed Sabak, President National Bank, Asim Meraj Hussain, Murtaza Syed, acting Governor SBP, Zafar Masood, Muhammad, Jameel Deputy Governor State Bank and Muhammad Ashraf Khan, former Governor State Bank.

The cabinet will approve one of the names in a meeting on Tuesday, sources said According to sources, Zafar Masood is most likely to be appointed new Governor State Bank.

Dr Murtaza Saeed is currently serving as acting Governor of State Bank of Pakistan.

The position of central bank governor fell vacant on May 4 after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led coalition government decided against giving a second term to Dr Reza Baqir.

However, the government has failed to appoint a new governor of the State Bank of Pakistan despite interviewing six candidates due to the divisions within its ranks, violating a law that binds it to appoint the governor within one month.

The central bank has been without a permanent governor for the last over two months, particularly at a time when Pakistan’s economy is facing serious challenges and the central bank has the responsibility to control inflation.

The SBP governor is a co-signatory of the Letter of Intent that is a prerequisite for clinching a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to media reports, of the six people that have been interviewed so far, three have worked with the IMF, including the acting governor, Dr. Murtaza Syed.

The interviews were conducted by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who was assisted by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and Senator Saleem Mandviwalla – a representative of the main coalition partner, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

But no consensus could be reached during at least four rounds of meetings. The SBP Act of 1956 says any time when the office of Governor is vacant or the Governor is incapacitated, the senior most Deputy Governor shall be the acting governor, until the Governor is appointed.

Section 11 (4) of the law says in the event of a vacancy occurring amongst the appointed governor, deputy governors, non-executive directors and external members of the Monetary Policy Committee, an appointment shall be finalized within a period not exceeding 30 days on the occurrence of such vacancy.