‘Corruption, a bane for economic growth, social development’

KARACHI: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad has said that corruption was a global phenomenon that strikes hardest at the poor, hinders inclusive economic growth and robs essential services of badly needed funds.

While addressing a seminar on ‘Zero corruption, 100% Development’, he said there was an unqualified consensus that corruption is a bane for economic growth and social development.

The seminar was held by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Karachi in collaboration with Transparency International Pakistan to continue its activities during the anti-corruption week.

Governor Ibad said eradication of corruption is a collective responsibility, adding that it cannot be achieved by any particular institution, rather it is the responsibility of all segments of society including media. “I am happy that the seminar is in line with today’s scenario as corruption is second biggest problem after terrorism,” he added.

He said hard earned public money is drained out of the system by the corrupt, thereby depriving the general public of essential services and good quality of life. He said Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in his inaugural address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan had termed corruption as a “poison”, which needed to be put down with an iron hand. He appreciated the performance of NAB Karachi under the supervision of NAB Director General Karachi Lt Col (r) Sirajul Naeem for their efforts in curbing corrupt practices.

“I stand here before you determined to do whatever it takes to free our country from the clutches of corruption and corrupt practices. I assure you that we are determined and committed to eradicate corruption and I agree with NAB’s slogan “Zero Corruption, 100% Development“. I am convinced that corruption can be uprooted and we can make corruption an unaffordable choice for corrupts. We can make a better Pakistan for our future generation; a Pakistan which is markedly better than the one that our generations inherited,” he added.

NAB Karachi DG Sirajul Naeem in his address said that corruption affects the country just like a cancer, adding that corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies, as it undermines development and rule of law and breeds ground for organised crimes in the society. He said corruption not only causes delays in the early completion of development projects but also causes huge losses to national exchequer, adding that it increases inflation in the country and decreases the buying power of a common man. He said that NAB, under the leadership of Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, has chalked out a comprehensive National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) for eradication of corruption and corrupt practices throughout the country. “NAB works according to National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999, which empowers it to act against those who are involved in corruption. The bureau is committed to eradicate corruption from the country by adopting zero tolerance policy across the board. He said that NAB has recovered Rs 265 billion from corrupts since its inception and deposited in the national exchequer, which is a record achievement.

“NAB performance has been appreciated by independent watchdogs like Transparency International (TI) and rated Pakistan in Corruption Perception Index (CPI) from 175 to 126. Similarly, PILDAT also supports the position stated above, as 42% people trusted NAB against 30% for police and 29% for government officials. NAB, with improved infrastructure and rationalised workload, has been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of case putting a maximum limit of 10 months- from complaint verification-to-inquiry-to investigation and finally to a reference in accountability court,” he added.

While highlighting the performance of NAB Karachi, he said that NAB Karachi during 2015 handled 6,250 complaints, 287 inquires, 85 investigations, filed 78 corruption references and arrested 160 corrupts. Other speakers on the occasion included Justice (r) Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui, Advisor for CM on Auqaf and Religious Affairs Dr Qayyum Somroo, Transparency Internal Pakistan Executive Director Saad Rashid, Anti-corruption Establishment Chairman Mumtaz Ali Shah and Dawood University of Engineering and Technology Vice Chancellor Faizullah Abbasi.

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