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Committee to propose anti-graft measures

December 18, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Dec 18: Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari, appeared before a four-member committee of the federal cabinet on Tuesday and explained his claim that Rs12 billion corruption was being committed in a day, or Rs5 trillion in a year, in the country.

The committee, headed by Law Minister Farooq H. Naek, decided that it would meet every day for a week and submit its recommendations to the government for eradicating corruption.

The committee and the NAB chairman criticised the Punjab government for not sending its representative to the meeting despite being invited.

Interestingly, the committee formed to question the NAB chief on the basis of his claim of Rs12bn corruption per day did not challenge his estimate during the meeting.

“We did not call the NAB chairman for investigation or questioning but to know where and how corruption is being committed on such a mass scale across the country,” said Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, who is also a member of the committee.

He said despite the fact that 65 per cent corruption, according to the NAB report, was being committed in Punjab, the provincial government had not sent its representative to the meeting.

The Punjab government’s spokesman and PML-N leader, Pervez Rashid, had already told Dawn that the provincial government would not send its representative to the meeting because of its differences with the federal government on the issue of corruption.

The information minister said the committee would present its recommendations to the prime minister in a week.

Speaking on the occasion, NAB chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari said he provided details about Rs12bn corruption being committed every day. “Flaws in our systems cause corruption,” he said.

He, however, expressed displeasure that the Punjab government had not sent its representative to the meeting.

The NAB chief said the PPP wanted to address the issue of corruption in a serious and proper way. “There is a realisation in the PPP that corruption should be eliminated by any means,” he said.

An official press release said Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Anwar Virk also attended the meeting and briefed the committee on different issues related to corruption.

Meanwhile, NAB’s executive board allowed on Tuesday an inquiry against the Balochistan Public Service Commission chairman for alleged misuse of authority, favouritism, nepotism, corruption and corrupt practices while appointing officials against 800 vacancies of grades 16 to18.

According to a NAB press release, it is alleged that a post of head mistress (BS-17) was sold for Rs1.7 million and that of an assistant commissioner for Rs4m.