Posts carry misleading claims about State Bank of Pakistan chief’s salary

Posts claim SBP chief receives a monthly salary of PKR 15 million

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Claim: The Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) draws a salary of PKR 15 million per month.

Fact: The current SBP governor, Dr Reza Baqir receives a monthly salary of PKR 2.5 million.

Fact or Fiction?

On 7 January 2022, a forwarded chain message was shared on WhatsApp stating that the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan draws a salary of PKR 15 million per month alongside other benefits. 

On 8 January 2022, Facebook page Energy Updates shared the claim with the following caption:

“1.5 Crore [15 million] per month as salary of Governor SBP, as stated by Justice Wajih, works out to over US$1 million per annum. Compare it with salaries of US President, Head of IMF (where Governor worked at mid management), Head of World Bank. All three get around US$ 460,000 per annum (you can Google and confirm). Pakistan is living beyond its means.”

Multiple Facebook pages picked up the claim and shared posts including, here, here and here, among others.

The claim was also shared on multiple groups, including here, here, here, here and here.

Most of the pages carried the claim with the same captions:

حلوائی کی دوکان پر معیشت کا فاتحہ اسٹیٹ بنک آف پاکستان کے گورنر کی ماہانہ مراعات کا موازنہ ! آئی ایم ایف چیرمین امریکن ریزرو بنک چیرمین اور ریزرو بنک آف انڈیا کے چیرمین کی مراعات سے

[Economy’s funeral at dessert shop. Comparison of the Governor of State Bank of Pakistan’s monthly benefits with IMF Chairman, Chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States and Governor of the Reserve Bank of India]

Soch Fact Check found the claims to be misleading. The Finance Division issued a document on 11 February 2022 stating that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir receives a monthly salary of PKR 2.5 million, as reported by Dawn.com.  

The document was issued following PML-N Senator’s Irfanul Haque Siddiqui’s inquiry during question hour in the Senate on 11 February 2022. 

The claims doing the rounds on social media also state that the governor receives other benefits such as free housing and utilities, free medical, free security, paid vacation, two club memberships and more. 

As per the Finance Division’s document, the other perks Baqir enjoys are as follows:

  • Annual increment that is 10 percent of his monthly pay
  • State Bank House furnished and maintained by SBP or rent as well as furnishing and maintenance allowance
  • Two cars; 1800CC and 1600CC with driver and 600 litres petrol each
  • All bills of electricity, gas, water and fuel for standby generator
  • 75 percent of education fees for governor’s children
  • Landline, mobile phone and  internet bills
  • Salary reimbursement of Rs 18,000 each for up to four servants 
  • Full medical coverage for governor and family
  • Round the clock security
  • Paid leaves 
  • Travel allowance as per SBP rules/approved by the SBP board

The document does not mention privileges like club memberships, contrary to what has been claimed by different Facebook pages. Soch Fact Check, however, cannot confirm with certainty whether Baqir does enjoy perks of this nature. 

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for posts on Facebook using the following two search terms for the period between 1 January 2022 and 18 February 2022. 

  • “Governor SBP salary”
  • “Governer SBP salary”
  • “اسٹیٹ بنک آف پاکستان گورنر”

The results show that the search terms received 3,423 interactions across 36 posts, 431 interactions across 16 posts and 1,792 interactions across 23 posts, respectively.

Energy Updates’ post is doing two times better than other similar posts. It has received nine likes and 33 shares. It is also performing two times better than other similar posts. 

Meanwhile, The Daily Post Pakistan’s post published 12 January 2022 has garnered 152 likes and 119 shares. 

Among the groups that carried the claim, this post shared by Facebook user Jahan Zaib Mahar gained 107 likes and 53 shares. It is also doing 1.31x better than other similar posts shared on different groups. 

Conclusion: Contrary to viral claims on social media, the SBP governor does not receive  a monthly salary of PKR 15 million. Infact, the current SBP chief Dr Reza Baqir, receives a monthly salary of PKR 2.5 million.

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