ISLAMABAD, Oct 25: Pakistan’s private sector is the major victim of corruption as billions of dollars were siphoned off economy while on the other hand corruption discourages youth to enter entrepreneurship, said Moin Fudda, Country Director, Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), here on Thursday.

The speakers at the roundtable, titled “role of private sector in combating corruption” urged the government to privatise the public sector enterprises to reduce corruption.

Mr Fudda said that collective efforts were needed to counter corruption.

“Chambers and associations are the key players in this anti-corruption initiative,” Mr Fudda said, adding that business associations have the responsibility to create awareness about ethical business and discourage the malpractices in the field.He suggested that pro-reform parliamentarians should also be engaged to raise this issue on a regular basis at all relevant forums.

The roundtable was organised in collaboration with Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and the members of the business community said that corruption not only retards pace of economic development and growth but also makes an adverse affect on overall wellbeing of the masses.

It was highlighted that mainly due to corruption investment and entrepreneurship has been discouraged in country and it has resulted in low productivity.

ICCI President Zafar Bakhtawari said that corruption was promoting inequality in the country.

“Corruption in government spending leads to serious reduction in impact of development programs and results in increase in cost of maintenance of public assets and undermines the rule of law and damages government legitimacy,” he added.

The ICCI President suggested that to reduce corruption one of the remedy is induction of private sector representatives in board of directors of local administrations and policy-making bodies.

“There is no reason but corruption that has turned several state-owned entities like PIA, WAPDA, Railways and Pakistan Steel Mills into huge loss-making white elephants.” Mr Bakhtawari said.

“These organisations are costing the national exchequer billions of rupees annually.”

Andrew Wilson, Regional Director, Eastern Europe and Eurasia CIPE, emphasised on institution building, ethical practices and enforcement of anti-bribery law and said corporate governance is an important anti-corruption tool.

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