ISLAMABAD – Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Muhammad Ali said on Thursday that public sector enterprises should be privatised in order to reduce corruption in the country.
He said this in a roundtable discussion titled “Role of Private Sector in Combating Corruption”, which was organized by Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in collaboration with Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). Representatives of various organizations were also present on the occasion.
Chairman SECP further said that implementation of a right set of legislation is also vital for reducing corruption alongwith practicing the system of good governance & documentation, better supervision, transparency and accountability.
In his keynote address, Moin Fudda, Country Director CIPE, highlighted the role of CIPE in Pakistan and said that Pakistan’s private sector is the major victim of corruption as billion of dollars were siphoned out of economy. He said that corruption discourages youth to enter in entrepreneurship career. He said that Chambers and associations are the key players in this anti-corruption initiative. Business Associations need to create awareness about ethical business as well as pro-reform parliamentarian should be engaged to raise this issue on regular basis at all relevant forums, he maintained. Speaking on the occasion, Zafar Bakhtawari, President ICCI, said that corruption retards the pace of economic development and growth, discourages investment and entrepreneurship, causes low productivity, promotes inequality and adversely affects the overall wellbeing of the people. He said that 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.
ICCI President said that one remedy to reducing corruption is the induction of private sector representatives in board of directors of local administrations and policy making bodies. He said that corruption has also turned several state owned entities like PIA, WAPDA, Railways and Pakistan Steel Mills into huge loss-making organizations due to which these entities are costing the national exchequer billions of rupees annually. The only feasible method of turning around these organizations and making them profitable is to privatize them by handing over their management to private sector professionals, he added.
Andrew Wilson, Regional director, Eastern Europe and Eurasia CIPE, emphasized on institution building, ethical practices and enforcement of anti-bribery law and said corporate governance is an important anti-corruption tool.
Olaf Kellerhoff, Resident Representative, Friedrich Nauman Stiftung Fur Diefreheit, gave a detailed presentation on different aspects of corruption and elaborated various regulatory measures to remove corruption from society. He said that through implementing proper rule of law, improving transparency, promoting privatization and adopting Transparency International tool kit the issue of corruption could be addressed.