‘Corruption hits poor hardest, hinders development’

KARACHI – The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Karachi, in continuation of its activities during the anti-corruption week, organised a seminar at Governor’s House on Wednesday titled, ‘Digitization Reduces Corruption.’

Governor Sindh Mohammad Zubair was the chief guest on the occasion, while several dignitaries from different fields and walks of life also attended the seminar.

Mohammad Zubair, in his address, said that corruption was a global phenomenon that hit the poor the hardest and hindered the economic growth and business activities.

He further said that the topic of the seminar “Digitization Reduces Corruption” was very much relevant to the present scenario, as reducing corruption by minimising human interaction was one of the international best practices.

The governor also appreciated NAB’s preventive efforts, which, he said, had the potential to improve the processes in public sector organisations.

He emphasised that apart from enforcement, NAB, under the preventive regime, could work together with government organisations as well as corporate entities by issuing general guidelines for making control mechanisms more stringent, enabling the organisations to curb corruption before it is committed.

He appreciated NAB Karachi for making efforts for bringing back the looted money to the national exchequer.

Farrukh Iqbal, Director IBA, and Allah Dino Khawaja, Sindh IGP also delivered their speeches on the subject.

They spoke about various aspects of digitization and its impact on reduction of corruption.

The IGP said that digitization in the processes and in maintenance of databases of organisations improved the efficiency. “However, it would be of little help unless the mindset is changed,” he reminded.

NAB Karachi DG Mohammad Altaf Bawany, in his address, welcomed the participants and expressed his gratitude to the governor for, what he said, becoming part of the struggle against corruption.

He said that under the leadership of NAB Chairman Justice Javed Iqbal, the bureau was enforcing Anti-Corruption strategy by striking balance between enforcement and prevention.

He further said that NAB’s efforts under preventive regime and various awareness campaigns had borne fruits as a visible change in the attitudes of the stakeholders could be witnessed, whereas deterrence had also served as an effective preventive tool.

Highlighting the importance of digitization, the DG said that NAB was taking steps in terms of issuing advisories and guidelines to various government organisations under Section 33 (c) of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 for improving their governance by introducing processes based on automation and minimizing human interaction.

Reiterating his resolve to fight against corruption, he also said that it was not possible for a single agency to curb the menace of corruption unless every segment of society joined hands with NAB and played its part.

An amount of Rs209 million recovered in various corruption cases was also distributed to the representatives of various agencies including various departments of Government of Sindh, HESCO, Askari Bank Private Limited, Habib Bank Private Limited, Pakistan Steel Mills, Federal Board of Revenue, Pakistan Post Office and Pakistan Post Office, Workers Cooperative Housing Society. Earlier this year in May, NAB had also distributed the recovered amount of Rs287 million to various departments and entities.

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