By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The Governor of Sindh, Dr Ishrat ul Ebad Khan, has reckoned that five most challenging factors for doing business in Pakistan doing last year were corruption, tax rates, inflation, access to financing and insufficient government bureaucracy from which corruption was cited as the most problematic.
He made the observation while addressing the presentation of Transparency International Pakistan Integrity Award to Director General, National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Sindh, Lt. Col. Retd. Siraj ul Naeem, at the Governor House in Karachi. The Provincial Ombudsman, Asad Ashraf Malik, and retired judges of the Sindh High Court were also present on the occasion.
“It’s an established fact that effective accountability mechanism is essential for economic growth, investment and stability of social sector in any society. It is also a recognized fact that the intervention by NAB has acted as a catalyst, as transparency is a pre-requisite for promoting investment and economic growth,” he pointed out.
‘”The contributions made by the NAB to fight such a huge menace and curbing corruption is based on a three pronged strategy of awareness, prevention and enforcement and it has been immensely successful. Since 2014, the NAB has acted with new zeal and has carried out a detailed analysis of organizational weaknesses, procedures and business processes and human resource development also. It is very commendable that NAB has recovered and deposited Rs. 276 billion in national exchequer since its inception,” the Governor recognized.
He also lauded its work with the youth and establishment of more than 20000 Character Building Societies (CBS) in universities and colleges across the country.
The Governor described the NAB Sindh as an important regional bureau whose performance for the last year has been graded as outstanding and excellent with 88 % Operational Efficiency Index by Chairman Inspection and Monitoring Team (CI&MT).
“Its Director General Lt. Col. (R) Siraj ul Naeem has headed these tremendous results which are commended by all concerned quarters. He deserves this award is the true reflection of his dedicated work,” the Sindh Governor complimented.
Dr Ishrat ul Ebad Khan declared that the establishment of Citizens Corruption Liaison Committee (CCLC) on the pattern of Citizen Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) and anti corruption and anti fraud help line would enable citizens to lodge their complaints for early redressal of the same.
Suhail Muzaffar of Transparency International Pakistan informed that this award has been awarded to four global personalities and Col Siraj was only the fifth person to receive the same and the first one from Pakistan.
On the occasion Governor of Sindh handed over the National Integrity award to Lt. Col (R) Siraj ul Naeem. A memorandum of understanding for establishment of CCLC and anti corruption helpline was also signed by the Principal Secretary, Mohammad Hussain Syed and Suhail Muzaffar of Transparency International.