LAHORE- Despite its best efforts, the Punjab govt has not been able so far to find some suitable person to head the Bank of Punjab while the institution is struggling hard to come out of the mess created after removal of its former President and 40 other senior officers. The Punjab govt in order to attract talent for the top slot had published an advertisement in the national Press, seeking applications from interested persons for this post but without mentioning the name of the financial institution. No leading banker, however, showed any interest to save the dwindling institution, whose condition got deteriorated when a number of account-holders withdrew major chunk of their deposits from the bank after administrative change. A few responded to the advertisement, and subsequently, five candidates were short-listed and interviewed by the Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif last month to fill the vacant slot. The CM will recommend the name of one of the candidates to the State Bank of Pakistan after consulting the Federal and provincial Finance Ministers. Following the approval of the State Bank of Pakistan, the Punjab Governor will notify the name of the candidate for his posting as the new President. A senior banker speaking on the condition of anonymity said that leading bankers were reluctant to head Bank of Punjab because they believe that the job would prove to be quite tough under the present circumstances. Reportedly, Faisal Bank Punjab chapter Chief Bashir Sheikh, Khalid Tirmizi from Habib Bank Limited, Salman Sheikh from Citi Bank, Askari Bank former President Shahryar Khan, Punjab Mudarba Chief Fauzi Khawaja and Naeemuddin Khan are among those interviewed. Lately, senior banker Zafar Hamid Jilani has also been included in the list of probable candidates. The post of the President in the BoP became vacant some three months back when the new Punjab govt sacked Hamaish Khan from the post on the charges of giving loans worth over Rs 9 billion to Harris steels without fulfilling the legal and financial requirements. Sajjad Hussain, formerly senior Vice President of BoP and earlier reporting to General Manager, Haroon Aziz who is now being interrogated by NAB authorities, is now working as officiating President, and is most likely to be retained in his present capacity because it has been learnt that the govt would seek approval of his name from the State Bank as he is also among the candidates interviewed by the Punjab CM. Official sources claimed that interviews for this top slot have been completed and successful candidate will assume the office during next couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the govt ordered all district and town municipal administrations to immediately shift their accounts to the Bank of Punjab from other banks to cope with the situation. As per claims of the bank administration, the financial condition of the bank has now improved a lot after this timely measure. Another corrective measure taken by the govt is that it has abolished the Commercial Asset Development and Marketing Division Department, dividing it into several subsections including commercial, corporate, consumer and agricultural loaning. This step has been taken to improve the recovery of loans, a senior bank officer told this scribe.