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Corruption is the biggest obstacle in achieving sustainable economic development: Chairman NAB

Px05-045ISLAMABAD: Dec05 – Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad presenting souvenir to Chairman NAB Qamar Zaman Chaudhry after a seminar on “Role of Youth in eradication of Corruption” held at Higher Education Commission, Islamabad.ONLINE PHOTO

Associated Press Service

ISLAMABAD:Dec 05, 2016: Corruption is globally recognized as one of the world’s greatest obstacles to sustainable economic growth and building a strong moral and ethical society. It is corrosive and adversely affects the fabric of society and economic prosperity. It has become one of the greatest challenges that every country is confronted with. In a recent report in the American Journal “Foreign Policy” it has been reported by IMF that bribes to the tune of about $ 1.5 Trillion change hands every year. This is about 5% global GDP. Empirical evidence throughout the world shows that it takes place in developed as well as non-developed countries although its intensity may vary between the developed and non-developed economies. This was stated by Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman NAB while addressing as Chief Guest at a National Seminar on “Role of youth in eradication of corruption” organized by Higher Education Commission at Islamabad. Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad, Chairman HEC, VCs of different Universities, senior faculty member and a large number of students attended the seminar.

He said that in developed countries, where the incidence of corruption is limited in its extent and where common people do not encounter it on a daily basis, the adverse impact tends to be marginal and does not jeopardize the welfare of its people. In contrast, in a developing country like Pakistan, where each borrowed dollar must be spent to uplift the people from poverty, it has a significant negative impact. The average citizen suffers because the facilities which were to be created by that loan in the first place do not get established and secondly it adds to the national debt burden. He said that no one should delude himself or herself into believing that eradicating corruption will be a straight forward task. Efforts at fighting corruption in Pakistan are far more complicated compared to other countries. The fact that corruption has become a “way of life”neither excuses its continuation, nor makes it acceptable for those whose lives are impoverished by its persistence.

He said that the process of Accountability has to be central concept where each and every one of us needs to adopt this concept of transforming the mindset of acceptance of corruption to a one of total rejection and zero tolerance. In order to tackle corruption successfully it must be understood that the anti-corruption agencies alone cannot overcome this ordeal. All segments of society especially the youth need to stand united against corruption/ corrupt practices as they are the future of Pakistan.

He said that the place and importance of the Youth in society cannot be overemphasized. Youth are the greatest asset that any nation can have. Not only are they legitimately regarded as the future leaders, they are potentially and actually the greatest investment for a country’s development. They serve as a good measure of the extent to which a country can reproduce as well as sustain itself. The extent of their vitality, responsible conduct, and role in society is positively correlated with the development of country.Pakistan is endowed with this asset in a big way.  Estimates show that 60% of our populations are categorized as young meaning in the bracket of less than 30 years of age. They need to contribute to this cause by extending full support to the state and anti-corruption agencies in spreading awareness about ill effects of this menace.

He said that there are many initiatives taken by individuals at the community level, which have achieved tremendous results. Despite bad governance there are individuals who, without losing hope, relentlessly fight against corruption. They changed the attitude of people and made strides in achieving results in the domain of their activities. Their vision, commitment, aspiration and methodology were unique and varied.

He said that to create awareness about the ill-effects of corruption amongst the youth of Pakistan, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Higher Education Commission (HEC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to make concerted efforts to root out corruption from the society. NAB is legally mandated to eradicate and prevent corruption in the country; therefore, it is determined to create a strong partnership with Higher Education Commission to create Awareness amongst the youth about the ill-effects of corruption.

NAB has taken a lead in establishing a path way for effectively combating corruption in the system. Under the Awareness regime more than 42 thousands of Character Building Societies (CBS) have been established in educational institutions all over the country for sensitizing the future leaders of our country against corruption. He said that Prevention regime is another effective tool to combat corruption and misuse of authority at an early stage before it happens. NAB is mandated under section 33C of National Accountability Ordinance to form committees for suggesting amendments in rules / regulations, in order to prevent corruption and corrupt practices in government departments. A large number of Prevention Committees have been established at NAB HQ and Regional Bureaus levels. Recommendations of these Prevention committees have been finalized and forwarded to quarters concerned for implementation.

He said that the efforts of NAB through Enforcement have also created a potent deterrence against corruption and had an overall positive effect. The CPI 2015 issued by Transparency International Berlin has placed Pakistan at 117th position out of 175 countries. This has been the best position achieved by Pakistan since Transparency International started issuing its CPI rating.  The Prosecution of cases in Courts of law has also improved in the last three years.   In the first 9 months of this year, it stands at 76%. The PILDAT in its latest report has acknowledged the efforts of NAB for reinvigorating its function. Due to the bureau’s efforts PILDAT, Transparency International, Mishal and World Economic Forum have appreciated its performance. The PILDAT has rated public confidence on NAB as 42%, 29% in police, and 26% have confidence in other Government departments.

He said that we all have a role to play and we should refrain from finger pointing while corruption goes unchecked. We give acceptance to corruption when we choose to remain silent while having information that could have helped in reverting loss of resources or could have assisted to bring perpetrators to book. We therefore must collectively fight to destroy this cancer that eats deeper in to the moral fabric of our society.

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