HomeBussinessAurangzeb likely to give up Rs3 crore monthly salary, Dutch citizenship

Aurangzeb likely to give up Rs3 crore monthly salary, Dutch citizenship


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This screengrab taken on March 5, 2024, from Pakistan Expo 2020’s YouTube video posted on October 5, 2021, shows Muhammad Aurangzeb speaking about investment opportunities. — YouTube/PakistanExpo

ISLAMABAD: The anticipated finance minister, Muhammad Aurangzeb, is preparing to relinquish a monthly salary package of Rs3 crore and Dutch citizenship in his endeavor to assume the top financial position aimed at remedying the country’s ailing economy.

A source close to Muhammad Aurangzeb has disclosed that the prospective finance minister has initiated the process of renouncing his Dutch nationality.

Although Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has yet to announce his cabinet, according to Editor Investigation at The News, Ansar Abbasi’s report, Muhammad Aurangzeb has already met with PMLN chief Mian Nawaz Sharif.

The banker had also attended the first finance meeting chaired by the prime minister shortly after taking office, where Ishaq Dar was notably absent.

Sources within the PMLN suggest that the likelihood of Ishaq Dar holding the portfolio of finance ministry is slim. Dar is expected to be assigned another significant portfolio in the federal cabinet, while Muhammad Aurangzeb is being considered for the finance minister post. With the top financial position in mind, Aurangzeb has applied to renounce his dual citizenship, as per Pakistani laws stipulating that a dual citizen cannot hold public office.

Muhammad Aurangzeb currently ranks among the top five highest-paid bank CEOs. He presently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Habib Bank Limited (HBL). The 2023 annual report of HBL reveals that Muhammad Aurangzeb received an annual salary and other perks totaling Rs352 million from the bank, equating to nearly Rs3 crore per month, placing him among the top five highest-paid CEOs in Pakistan.

While Muhammad Aurangzeb is prepared to sacrifice his lucrative job and dual nationality, it remains uncertain how he will address the country’s economic challenges. Financial experts are also questioning whether he will be granted autonomy to make financial decisions independently. It will be pivotal to observe his interactions with the IMF team in the coming weeks.

In a press briefing held in Washington, DC, Thursday, an IMF spokesperson confirmed the institution’s readiness to dispatch its mission to Pakistan following the formation of a new cabinet under the $3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA) programme.

It is noteworthy that Muhammad Aurangzeb has been associated with HBL since April 2018 as President and CEO. Before this, he served as CEO for JP Morgan’s Global Corporate Bank in Asia, accumulating over 30 years of rich international banking experience in other senior management roles at ABN AMRO and RBS based in Amsterdam and Singapore. Aurangzeb obtained his BS and MBA degrees from The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania).

He was one of the highest paid bankers in those international financial institutions.

Aurangzeb has been working under the leadership of Chairman HBL Sultan Ali Allana, who has been credited in the past for conceptualising Roshan Digital and behind-the-scene-project management required to get Pakistan out of the FATF Grey List.

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