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Ansar Abbasi
Sunday, July 01, 2012
From Print Edition
 
 

 

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bukhari’s latest disclosure that Pakistan loses up to Rs8 billion a day in corruption, has exceeded even the otherwise massive corruption figures of Transparency International Pakistan (TIP).

 

The TIP has evaluated that corruption of Rs8500 billion took place during the first four years of the PPP regime (led by the sacked PM Gilani) but the per day corruption figure — Rs8 billion — as now given by the NAB chairman, means a corruption figure of Rs2.9 trillion in one year and Rs11.6 trillion in four years.

 

Recently, in an informal chat with The News, the NAB chairman had told this correspondent that that oil mafia, agriculture cartel and tax evasion/theft contribute to a daily loss of Rs5 billion, which meant Rs150 billion in one month and Rs1,800 billion a year.

 

However, on Saturday while addressing a press conference, the NAB chairman said that more than Rs6 to Rs8 billion corruption occurs in a day in the country. This disclosure of the NAB chairman has given far gloomier picture as compared to the TIP in respect to mounting corruption in Pakistan.

 

The Transparency International had recently reported that Pakistan had lost more than Rs8,500 billion (Rs8.5 trillion or $94 billion) in corruption, tax evasion and bad governance during the four years tenure of the recently sacked Gilani’s regime but these figures were strongly contested by the PPP government and its leaders.

 

Although the NAB chairman did not give the details of the massive corruption in Pakistan but the TIP had pointed out corruption of Rs390 billion in 2008, Rs450 billion in 2009, Rs825 billion in 2010 and Rs1,100 billion in 2011 under the present government. The total corruption from these identified cases is Rs2,765 billion.

 

In addition, according to the TIP, the minister of finance of the government himself confirmed corruption in the FBR of over Rs500 billion per year, which makes the total Rs2,000 billion; the auditor general of Pakistan pointed out Rs315 billion corruption in 2010; Public Accounts Committee recovered Rs115 billion in 30 months till 2011; circular debt is Rs190 billion; KESC was given Rs55 billion illegal benefits per annum since 2008; state-owned enterprises like PSO, PIA, Pakistan Steel, Railways, SSGC, SNGC are eating away Rs150-300 billion per annum; the tax to GDP ratio in 2008 was 11%, which in 2011 has come down to 9.1% instead of being increased.

 

During the Gilani’s regime, his government’s perception worldwide has been one of the most corrupt in the world as the corrupt and plunderers of national wealth were protected, rewarded and even offered key positions instead of being tried and pushed behind the bars. It was because of the bad repute of the regime that even during times of natural disasters like devastating floods, which hit Pakistan in the recent years, the world capitals opted not to give anything in cash to the PPP government.

 

Ironically the anti-corruption state institutions like NAB and FIA have been filled with tamed and tainted officials to protect the corruption of the mighty and powerful. The NAB chairman though talked to the massive corruption, he and his organisation did little to curb the same. Instead the NRO corruption cases have been settled to the advantage of the accused through friendly prosecution of the NAB.

 

In regard to the corruption cases of the PPP’s present tenure like Haj scam, Pakistan Steel plunder, Railways corruption, Rental Power loot and others, neither the FIA nor the NAB probed the cases fairly only because of the involvement of their political masters. No less than the Supreme Court, has repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction over the role of the NAB and FIA in protecting the corrupt.