October 21, 2019
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday announced the formation of a six-member committee for the improvement of the economy and to address the reservations of the business community and their “valid complaints”.
In a press release, the accountability watchdog said that the committee has been formed after consultation with NAB’s executive board using the powers granted to it by Section 33(C) of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999.
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The committee will include the following members:
- Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik
- Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry President Daroo Khan Achackzai
- Former Bank Alfalah president Atif Bajwa
- Former Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mian Anjum Nisar
- Millat Tractors Managing Director Sikandar Mustafa Khan, and
- Former chief of Citizens Police Liaison Committee Karachi Jameel Yusuf
According to NAB, the committee will present its recommendations regarding any problems faced by the business community to the NAB chairman.
These recommendations will be thoroughly reviewed by a three-member committee — consisting of the NAB deputy chairman, NAB prosecutor general of accountability and DG operations NAB — which will then present its final recommendations to the NAB chairman.
A decision will be taken on the proposals “without any delay and in accordance with the law”, the NAB press release said.
The business community committee will also be able to present its requests directly to the NAB chairman and “a legal solution will be devised for every issue through mutual understanding”, it added.
However, the handout stated that the decision taken by the NAB chairman will be “final” during the process and complaints regarding the references that have already been filed will not be admissible.
“The status of the aforesaid committee of the business community will only be consultative and there will be no prohibition on the use of authority legally granted to NAB,” the press release added as a proviso.
It said that NAB “immensely respects” the business community and every step possible will be taken for the country’s prosperity and improvement of the economy.
“NAB’s first and last association is only with the state of Pakistan and its prosperity,” the statement concluded.
The announcement comes two weeks after NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal told a press conference that none of the bureau’s officials would call any businessman directly for questioning and that NAB would not investigate cases of tax evasion and those related to bank default except the ones referred to it by banks.
That announcement was made by the anti-graft watchdog chief days after some business tycoons had shared their concerns regarding the accountability process with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in separate meetings.