According to a notification issued by the Establishment Division, BS-22 officer of Secretariat Group Noor Ahmed would now serve as director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a term of four years starting from July 1, 2021.
Earlier, Pakistan’s former executive director at the ADB, Sami Saeed, had refused to step down from his post, which gave the then president no choice but to cancel his appointment and call him back.
Mr Ahmed is going to replace to former secretary of finance Shahid Mehmood, Pakistan’s current executive director, whose tenure is going to end on June 30, 2021. Reports revealed that Ahmed was chosen out of a panel of six bureaucrats by the PM. The four other candidates included Interior Secretary Yousaf Nasim Khokar, Power Secretary Ali Reza Bhutta and Planning Secretary Hamid Yaqub Sheikh.
Ahmed was seen as the most competent out of all as he had previously handled important policy matters during his stint at the Ministry of Finance. He has also worked as special secretary finance and was appointed as economic affairs secretary twice where he worked with international creditors and donors.
The position of executive director has been alternating between Pakistan and the Philippines for two years. The executive director represents a constituency of seven countries which include Kazakhstan, the Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Pakistan, the Philippines and the Timor-Leste.
Noor Ahmed will join ADB as the executive director from the next month, initially from Islamabad due to the restrictions put in place by the bank in light of the Covid-19 situation.
He has been appointed for four years and during the first two years he will act as executive director of the ADB.
Modeled closely on the World Bank, ADB is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966, which is headquartered in the Ortigas Center located in the city of Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines. The company also maintains 31 field offices around the world to promote social and economic development in Asia.
Though ADB has been one of the largest lenders to Pakistan, and has never aligned itself with the policies of Bretton Woods institutions – the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, it has recently joined hands with the IMF when it comes to approving budget support loans for Pakistan.
The ADB Board decides on policy issues for member countries and approves loans, both for budget support and for project lending, based on members’ requests.
The Manila-based lender delayed approving $300 million budget support loan as talks between Pakistan and the IMF failed to materialize. It would now be a challenge for Noor Ahmed to maintain ADB funding lines, especially at a time when IMF talks are unsuccessful.