PM accepts central bank head’s resignation

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has accepted the resignation of the head of the central bank who stepped down last week at a time of immense turmoil in the economy.

Gilani’s office said deputy governor Yasin Anwar had been appointed acting governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, to replace Shahid Hafiz Kardar.

There was no mention of the reasons for the resignation, which the government said was tendered Friday.

Kardar had been on the job only nine months after being appointed in September. His predecessor Syed Salim Raza stepped down for “personal reasons” after staying in office for around 16 months.

In its budget for the new fiscal year 2011-2012, the government last month raised defence spending by 11 percent and government employees’ pensions by 20 percent, leading to a deficit of four percent of GDP.

The weak economy has been made worse by bomb attacks and an energy crisis, while catastrophic floods last year cost the economy $10 billion.

However, the International Monetary Fund last year halted a $11.3 billion assistance package over a lack of progress on reforms, principally on tax.