ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan is likely to sign Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) convention on anti-bribery, which would help the government to exchange information regarding kickbacks and to receive corruption money in projects with other countries.

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday directed the relevant departments to start inter-ministerial consultation to determine Pakistan’s readiness for accession to other international conventions and protocols, which create transparency and openness in governance. He said that OECD convention on combating bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) - an initiative of the UK government - should both be reviewed and recommendations should be made on Pakistan’s preparedness for joining these multilateral fora.

He said, “Accession to these multilateral agreements will augment Pakistan’s efforts to combat fiscal crime and will further strengthen our compliance framework on anticorruption.” The minister directed that all necessary steps for joining both fora should be undertaken expeditiously.

The OECD convention on anti-bribery had already signed by 40 countries in order to discourage kickbacks and corruption money getting for mega projects. The OECD anti-bribery convention establishes legally binding standards to criminalise bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions and provides for a host of related measures that make this effective. It is the first and only international anti-corruption instrument focused on the ‘supply side’ of the bribery transaction.

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde, during her visit to Pakistan last month, said that perception of corruption deters private investment and impedes efforts to promote growth. Therefore, corruption should be overcome through transparency and accountability, she added.

Dar chaired a meeting yesterday to review the steps being taken by the government to ensure good governance, improve transparency and to curb the menace of corruption. He said that Pakistan has recently become a signatory to the OECD multilateral convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters. He said that Pakistan’s fiscal regime stands strengthened by joining this convention, which will bring further transparency and openness in governance.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Finance Dr Waqar Massod, Special Assistant to Finance Minister Tariq Pasha and other senior officials of the Finance Ministry.