ISLAMABAD - The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) resolved to spread the message and slogan of “Say No to Corruption” in the corporate and capital market sector to make it operate with full integrity and transparency.

To this effect a seminar was held at the SECP on ‘Resistance against Corruption in Corporate Sector and Capital Markets’ organised jointly by the SECP and the NAB on Thursday.

Representatives of regulatory bodies, chambers of commerce from all over Pakistan, corporate sector, renowned professionals from the professions of audit and law were present in the seminar. The aim was to create the much needed awareness against corruption, mobilise public opinion and pledge to start a campaign for resistance against corruption and corrupt practices.

Speaking at the seminar, the Chairman SECP Zafar Hijazi has said that corruption in the society is a disease and sincere and vigorous efforts are needed to eradicate it as otherwise Pakistan would grievously suffer.

Hijazi reaffirmed that the SECP and the NAB will jointly make concerted efforts to reduce corruption in the corporate sector. He said as opposed to common belief the mission to end corruption is a doable job and if all the concerned institutions work in a concerlied fashion the menace of corruption can be controlled.

He said SECP and NAB can cooperate with different chamber of commerce in order to find out where the bureaucracy is putting hurdles in their honest dealings. Hijazi said the problem is that there is no body to put a check on certain rogue elements in the bureaucracy, and if there is proper procedure of accountability the incident of corruption can be substantially reduced.

He said the close collaboration among regulators and law enforcement agencies could serve as deterrence against corrupt elements and such collaboration will also provide needed assistance to NAB’s primary objectives.

Delivering his key note address, Deputy Chairman NAB, Muhammad Imtiaz Tajwar said that eliminating corruption is a great challenge to every member of a good society. He said that the exchange of expertise between NAB and the SECP can be very beneficial in this regard.

He said that NAB duly acknowledges the efforts of SECP in promoting corruption free corporate culture and this relationship with SECP will go a long way in attaining the goal of a corruption free Pakistan.

Imtiaz Tajwar said that corruption is a corrosive drain on public trust and on the legitimacy of public and private sector institutions. One key way of addressing corruption problem through internal measures is the establishment of strong corporate governance within companies which will raise organisational effectiveness, improve access to capital and ensure sustainability.

He said that NAB is charged with responsibility of eliminating corruption through holistic approach of awareness, prevention and enforcement.

Suggesting various measures to check corruption, Imtiaz Tajwar said that the education system needs to be revised and people should be made aware of their rights. State Institutions should be made stronger and a vigorous system of accountability and check and balance out in place.

Tajwar said that red tapism is the major cause of corruption and e-governance is the best solution for solving this problem. The unemployed class should be provided jobs and recruited purely on merit.

He was of view that we can start by setting our own personal and official conduct above any kind of influence and prejudice. If today we all promise to ourselves that we shall resist corruption at all levels by saying ‘No to Corruption” we can make a difference and leave a better Pakistan for our generations.

The National Investment Trust (NIT) Managing Director Shahid Ghafar said that it’s good that people have been talking so much about corruption and show their hate against it. It’s the correct time to act boldly against it and take stringent measures to eliminate it. Shahid said that the regulators can play effective role in resisting corruption.

Member Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) Ikram Ul Haque Qureshi said that resist implementation of laws is required to deal with growing menace of corruption. To resist corruption, he said, our criminal justice system, methods of investigation and means of prosecution needs to be modernized. There should be incentives and protection for whistle blowers.