ISLAMABAD: Amid allegations of “threatening” attitude by the National Accountability Bureau against businessmen, NAB chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal on Monday said the anti-graft watchdog had a great regard for “valuable” services of the business community.
“NAB has great regard for the valuable services of the business community in the progress and prosperity of the country,” the NAB chairman said while talking to a delegation of the Pakistan Flour Mills Association led by Asim Raza Khan, chairman of the Punjab Flour Mills Association.
Mr Iqbal said NAB was not pursuing the cases relating to sales and income tax against the business community and had transferred all such existing cases to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) as per the law. He said the notices issued to the flour mills owners of Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan divisions were being held in abeyance as the matter was sub judice in a court of law and the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) was also probing it.
Says bureau has great regard for valuable services of business community
In the light of the above position, the NAB chief said he would himself examine the cases of the business community. He asked the business community to provide flour to people on government rates.
“It is only rumors that the business community is perturbed due to NAB’s actions as 1,210 references filed by NAB in the respected accountability courts in various parts of the country and cases of the business community are not more than two per cent. The business community is playing an important role in the economic development of the country,” he added.
“A prosperous business community makes Pakistan prosperous. NAB is performing its national duties as per law,” he said, adding that he had himself decided to hold ‘open kutchery’ on last Thursday of every month in order to listen to citizens’ complaints regarding corruption.
“NAB has not only listened to the problems of hundreds of complainants in open kutchery’ but also received thousands of complaints in 2020 which are almost double than the previous year,” he said, adding that NAB had initiated action against illegal housing societies and modaraba scams.
A few months ago delegations of the business community called on Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Prime Minister Imran Khan and complained that their businesses were being affected due to NAB’s actions.
The NAB chairman said the business community was the backbone of the country and the bureau accorded high priority to resolve the business community’s issues by establishing special complaint cells at the NAB headquarters and all regional bureaus.
Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2020