ISLAMABAD, MAY 17, 2017: Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman NAB has said that corruption is root cause of all evils. Eradication of corruption is the top priority of NAB by adopting Zero Tolerance Policy across the board as corruption is a major hurdle in the economic progress and prosperity. Considering corruption as the biggest challenge in the way of prosperous Pakistan, NAB was established as an apex anti corruption organization in the year 1999 with a mandate to eradicate corruption and to recover hard earned looted money of innocent people from corrupt with iron hands. He said these remarks during a meeting to appreciate all officers/officials who put their hard work and energies in the timely preparation and publication of NABís Year Book at NAB Headquarter.
He said that NAB had chalked out a comprehensive, jolistic and innovative Anti Corruption three-pronged strategy i.e. creating AWARENESS against the ill effects of corruption in the society, making efforts aimed at PREVENTION through review of laws and procedures to ensure that the possibility of abuse of discretion is minimized and effective and efficient ENFORCEMENT through Investigation of acts of corruption and vigorous Prosecution in the respective Courts of Law. Despite many odds, NAB officers continued to perform with their best abilities. Due to various measures and initiatives taken by the present management of NAB, the year 2014 is considered the reinvigoration year for NAB. The introduction of reforms and its implementation through unwavering efforts brought positive results in 2015 and onwards.
The phenomenon of corruption is an issue that is not limited to Pakistan. According to World Economic Forumís Report, every year corruption costs the world 5% of Global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the tune of US$ 2.6 trillion. It is the reward of this pragmatic and holistic approach that during the year 2016, NAB received 33,245 numbers of complaints. NAB authorized 914 inquiries and 389 investigations in 2016. The Accountability Courts have given convictions under section 10 of National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 in 40 References, whereas, 896 accused had admitted their guilt and opted to return, the hard earned looted money of the innocent people amounting to Rs. 11.658 billion on account of Plea Bargain (PB) and Voluntary Return (VR). NAB recovered Rs. 4.693 billion and Rs. 5.676 billion in the realm of VR and PB respectively in 2016. NAB also recovered Rs. 0.628 billion as court fine imposed by the Accountability Courts. The prosecution of NAB References in respective Courts has also improved since last three years and success rate stood at 72.72% in 2016.
He said that the establishment of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Islamabad also a milestone achievement which has generated 19 reports in Digital Forensics and 44 reports in Questioned Documents. The effective awareness campaign on ďSAY NO TO CORRUPOTIONĒ remained in field through lectures, seminars, walks, talk shows etc. throughout the country and it has substantially enlarged the scope of prevention operations to bring greater transparency in governance and to reduce the incidences of corruption.
Shortage of Human Resource also remained a concern for NAB in preceding years. To address the same, NAB inducted 7th batch comprising of 100 officers who joined field in February 2016. The recruitment process of another batch of 97 officers has completed and newly recruited 97 officer are being trained in Police College Sihala on modern lines. Furthermore, several Capacity Building Courses, refresher courses and trainings were also arranged for the officers/ officials to enhance their professional capabilities. NABís initiative to quantify the performance of NABís Regional Bureaus was implemented in year 2016 under Partly Qualified Grading System (PQGS) and for the year 2015 NAB Karachi was adjudged the best Region. NAB is also operating a fair and effective Internal Accountability Management (IAM) System for its officers and staff.
He said that a web based Monitoring & Evaluation System (MES) has also been implemented for effective monitoring and internal accountability. NAB continued collaboration within the global arena through international conferences and bilateral ties. In this context, Pakistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China in November 2016, with the purpose to streamline and structure cooperation in the fields of anti-corruption.
He said that NAB also extended a proposal to set up South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation-Anti-Corruption Forum (SAARC-ACF). Accordingly NAB hosted a meeting at Islamabad in September 2016; wherein the heads of SAARC Anti-Corruption Authorities agreed with the proposal for creation of such forum. Dedication of NAB in curbing corruption is also evident from CPI report published by Transparency International for the year 2016. The report reflects improvement in the position of Pakistan with respect to curtailment of corruption i.e. 116 amongst 176 countries of the world. It is very encouraging that for the first time anti-corruption has been made part of the development agenda in Pakistan. Accordingly, Planning Development and Reforms Division Pakistan have also included a complete chapter on anti-corruption in the 11th five-year plan. This is in line with the proposed measures given in National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) developed by NAB; to ensure elimination of corruption through good governance for which NAB resolves to continue its efforts against corruption and to be the best anti-corruption agency amongst its counterparts.