Wednesday December 01, 2021

Reforms improved overall NAB performance: ‘Anti-graft organisation recovered Rs533 bn since 2017 as compared to Rs287 bn in last 17 years’

July 19, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (R) Javed Iqbal, after assuming the post of Chairman NAB, introduced several reforms in the bureau, which led to a record improvement in its overall performance as comparing to past 17 years.

The NAB though its official statement on Saturday stated that the zero tolerance policy against corruption was characterized by the fact that since October 2017, the NAB under Justice Javed Iqbal recovered Rs 533 billion directly and indirectly from corrupt elements while in the 17 years from the establishment of NAB to 2016, NAB was able to recover only Rs 287 billion.

According to NAB statement, since its inception till March 2021, NAB has received a total of 487,964 complaints out of which 479,685 complaints were taken to logical conclusion. Since its inception in March 2021, NAB has initiated 15,930 Complaint Verification (CV) out of which 15,154 CVs have been completed. While investigations are continuing on some 776 complaints (CVs) NAB. The NAB statement said From its inception in 1999 to March 2021, NAB initiated a total of 10,041 inquiries out of which 9,114 inquiries were completed and the NAB is currently investigating only 927 inquiries. During the last 21 years, the NAB approved 4,598 investigations, out of which 4,287 investigations were completed. “However, at present, a total of 311 investigations are underway in the NAB,” the NAB statement stated.

Similarly, 3,682 references were filed by NAB in the accountability courts from 1999 to March this year, out of which decisions were issued on 2,413 references. At the moment NAB's references of 1,273 cases worth Rs 1300 billion are pending in the courts. Since March 2021, the anti-graft organisation decided on 2,413 references with over 66pc success rate, which is a role model for any investigative agency. According to the current situation, out of 179 mega corruption cases, 63 cases were conclusion, while 95 cases are pending.

It said Pakistan and China have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to curb corruption to ensure transparency in CPEC projects. The NAB has already been appointed as SAARC Anti-Corruption Forum Chairman and the organisation is considered a role model by SAARC countries which is enviable. “It is no less an honor for Pakistan that the National Accountability Bureau is a focal institute under the auspices of the United Nations.,”it said.

Recounting steps to facilitate the business community, the statement said Chairman NAB Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, decided to refer all cases related to income tax and sales tax to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Customs Department. “Orders were also issued for setting up of Business Desk under the supervision of Director level officer in all regions of NAB to address the grievances and problems faced by the business community.

Giving brief review of NAB reforms during the tenure of the current Chairman NAB, it said in view the modern requirements, a anti-corruption academy has been set up where investigative officers are trained on different aspects of the white collar crimes through various experts.

Reflecting the vision of Chairman NAB Justice Javed Iqbal, a system of Combined Investigation Team (CIT) was introduced to dispel the notion of monopoly of an individual in investigations. The CIT comprises a Director, Deputy Director, Investigating Officer and Legal Adviser to investigate the case.

As soon as Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal assumed office, he fixed a period of 10 months from inquiry, investigation to the filing of the reference to eliminate unnecessary length in cases while there is no such precedent of fast track probe internationally,” the NAB statement stated. The Chairman NAB also set up the first NAB Forensic Science Laboratory in Rawalpindi and introduced a "grading system" on an annual basis to evaluate and stabilize the performance of NAB officers.”

Justice Iqbal also introduced "MES System" for allotting a specific number to every complaint to trace and monitor its progress with a single click. His policy of "accountability for all" has emerged as a symbol of fear for the corrupt elements. “That is why, according to the Gilani and Gallup polls, 59 percent of the people of Pakistan are satisfied with the NAB's initiatives,” the press statement stated. It said the national and international organizations like Transparency International,

PILDAT, World Economic Forum, Mashaal Pakistan, etc have expressed full confidence in NAB's initiatives.