LAHORE: The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), Punjab, has registered 1,530 FIRs against government officials on the charges of corruption this year, says its annual report.

However, only 30 accused were convicted in 2021.

ACE Director General Gohar Nafees issued the annual report in connection with the anti-corruption day here on Wednesday.

Besides 1,530 cases against government officials of various departments of the Punjab government, 1,739 people were arrested. Mr Nafees said that during 2021 the ACE received 28,756 complaints across Punjab, of which 28,352 were disposed of. Some 6,929 inquiries were initiated.

He said the ACE recovered Rs28.7 billion during the year under review. “A sum of Rs21.5bn in the form of retrieving the state land had been recovered. Over 77,533 kanals of land was retrieved from various land grabbers across Punjab as well,” the DG said and added the ACE recovered an amount of Rs17.1bn indirectly and Rs910 million directly in the form of various government dues.”

When asked about the slow conviction rate, Mr Nafees said: “Yes… prosecution rate is low and there is a dire need to improve it.” He also said that corruption was a mindset. “It has become more of a culture than a social evil. Fight against this mindset must be waged collectively,” he said.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2021

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