Rawalpindi - National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry on Thursday said that eradication of corruption is very vital to make the country economically strong, stable and prosper.

Addressing the business community at the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), he said that NAB is committed to make Pakistan corruption-free.

Terrorism has been reduced with improved security situation and businesses are flourishing, he said. All economic indicators are showing positive directions and even World Bank has revised its outlook for Pakistan Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Businessmen served as a backbone of the national economy, he added.  

The chairman said corruption is a menace and it had a very negative effect on people, society and economy.  

NAB itself never goes for an inquiry or investigation; it is a complaint driven organisation.

Most of the applications, about 80 per cent, dropped out at the very initial stage due to lack of evidence. NAB is maintaining a zero tolerance policy against corruption, he further added.  He said the bureau has maintained a good repute and so far Rs285 billion have been recovered and deposited in the national exchequer.

He referred to the recent amendments in the NAB law and added that upon proven guilty on corruption charges, public office holder will be disqualified for the life time and any government official will not be able to serve in any other government department for the rest of his/her life.

However, he urged public and traders to work hard in eradicating menace of corruption in the society. Awareness is required from the society.

Double Shah case is an example for us where people of the effective village gave a warm reception upon his return from the jail, Chaudhry said.  

Also, there is a need to change the misconception about NAB on plea bargain. It is not entitled for any share in plea bargain amount.

On a question about Mudaraba scandal, he said some recoveries have been made, however, reimbursement will be processed once cases are cleared from the court.

The case of former finance secretary of Balochistan is another success story where it took just six months to complete the NAB proceedings, he said.

The Chairman also appreciated the public involvement and their agile activism in corruption related cases.

Earlier, RCCI President Raja Amer Iqbal in his welcome address said corruption makes production, imports and exports costly, resulting in trade deficit.

He paid glowing tributes to the NAB chairman for his efforts to eradicate corruption and assured full support from the chamber to eradicate menace of corruption from the society.

He said the trust of international community in our economy is returning for which credit went to the government as well as the efforts of the anti-corruption initiatives of NAB.

He also appreciated the memorandum of understanding signed by NAB on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to secure the traders’ interest.

He also gave a short briefing on RCCI current and future events. Senior Vice President Rashid Waien, Vice President Asim Malik, group leaders, former presidents, members of the executive committee and a large number of trades also present on the occasion.