ISLAMABAD - Aspirants for central bank's top slot are lobbying hard as the government has decided to appoint an economist-cum-banker as Governor State Bank of Pakistan when incumbent Dr Shamshad Akhtar completes her three-year tenure on January 2, 2009. According to well-placed sources, Presidency Tuesday summoned Finance Ministry top officials for briefing on the appointment of a new SBP Governor following the completion of Dr Akhtar's term. "It clearly implies that the government has decided not to extend the tenure of the incumbent chief of the central bank," the official sources observed. The sources said that President Asif Ali Zardari has taken into confidence not only the coalition partners but also the visiting high-level mission of the International Monetary Fund about his vision to have a two-in-one sort of a person as SBP Governor. Most of the President's separate meetings on Tuesday were mainly focused on the appointment of new head of the country's central bank, the sources added. A key member of the PPP's top leadership requesting not to be named also confirmed to TheNation that the consensus decision of the ruling coalition partners was to have new head of the central bank. The leader claimed that the IMF was all out to support the idea of appointing a multidimensional personality having command on both economy and banking as SBP Governor. "Lacking expertise on either side (economics or banking) on part of the central bank chief could not do justice with the highly critical as well as autonomous slot," he furthered. Earlier, sources told this scribe that among the short listed aspirants, Saleem Raza, a former Citi Bank official and brother of President National Bank of Pakistan, Ali Raza, was having highest probability. The Razas are the sons of Syed Hashim Raza, a renowned former bureaucrat as well as a very well known personality in Sindh's capital Karachi. The sources claimed that President Zardari had very high regards for Hashim Raza. The sources said Syed Hashim Raza also enjoys backing of the key coalition partner MQM. On the other hand, the two other contenders were having credentials to have worked with the IMF more than their political lobbying with the PPP or any other ruling coalition partner. Mohsin Khan, a former Director of the IMF, and Dr Nadeem-ul-Haq, former head of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics also carry substantial weight. The candidates from the IMF cadre, too, were in advantageous positions only because their parent institution was having a special influence on Pakistan's economy at present, the sourced added.