LAHORE– National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal addressed the business community at the Federation of Chamber and Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Lahore on Thursday and received appreciation for making efforts to eradicate corruption.
Talking to the members, the Chairman NAB said that eradication of corruption from the country needs collective effort and he sought cooperation of Business Community in his Endeavour to eradicate corruption from the society.
Iqbal said he has been making all out efforts to culminate corruption from the society without caring about powerful mafias having unprecedented stories on their credit.
Business community should also extend moral support to NAB against its fight against corruption. NAB out rightly rejects allegations of one sided accountability leveled against the Bureau, the Chairman said that there remains no need of NAB if everyone itself ensures self-accountability.
He said the bureau has also constituted a committee, having representation of all stakeholders, for resolving business community issues.
He asked business community to concentrate on their business as the bureau believes in performing its duties in collaboration with business community and therefore they need not to worry as the Bureau is always a business friendly institution.Iqbal further said NAB has not pursued any case of tax evasion and no plan to pursue in future also , whereas, such cases would be referred to FBR. NAB does not take action in Bank default cases at its own but State Bank refers cases to NAB. Banks take action against businessmen in case of default. He was reviewing the case of Iqbal Z Ahmed personally.
Business community plays pivotal role in economic prosperity of the country. The people providing jobs to hundreds of people would not be harassed by NAB.
He said NAB was pursuing the cases of someone who was almost penniless in 1980, but today the same owns multistory buildings in foreign and from where he got the money remains still unanswered.
NAB takes action against the people who remained in government for the last 35 years. The untouchables of past are behind the bars as nobody is above the law. Media should confirm all news about NAB before airing or publishing it.
The Chairman also answered the queries of businessmen and industrialists. He said NAB has no affiliation with the incumbent government as the Bureau has allegiance with Pakistan, which has given the chairman unmatched honour and prestige. NAB has filed cases against powerful persons.
The remaining cases of Panama Papers were at different stages of hearing. Early action was taken on the information received on the cases a bit earlier.
Brushing aside the allegations of overstepping, he said Bureau is always a people-friendly Institution and conducts accountability without any discrimination.
“NAB is to serve people and not to intimidate them. NAB is patriot. NAB file cases after complete Investigation and Inquiries. Representatives of the all the Chambers of Commerce and industry would be included in the committee formed recently.”
He said special desks have already been established in NAB headquarters and regional offices to facilitate business community. No complaint was received in last 4 months and 28 days to desks by the business community.
The desks have been directed to resolve businessmen complaints within 24 hours. Failing which chairman himself resolves their issue within three days period.
He said income tax and sales tax cases of business community have already been referred to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). He said the NAB only considers the case not the face.
The country was indebted up to Rs100 billion, one perturbs where the money had been spent as economy was in shambles, no beds in hospitals, students were being denied admissions in universities.
NAB has no role in ruining of country’s economy. Convicting or freeing suspects rest with the courts. A bike rider person amassed wealth and make towers in Dubai.
Talking about the allegations of non-recovery by NAB, he said it has been very difficult to prove white collar crimes as the crime is committed in one city and property exists somewhere else. NAB has to work while remaining within the law, he can make recoveries within three weeks period, if granted absolute powers. He can’t arrest a person without any reason even for four hours.
He said there is a huge difference between tax evasion and money laundering. NAB respects the dignity of complainants. NAB has no case of tax evasion as both are separate things. He has never approved plea bargain or signed arrest warrants of any suspect without proper verification.
He said NAB has recovered Rs71 billion during the last 22 months and overall recovery of the Bureau, since inception is Rs342 billion. Criticizing over fake Housing societies, he said these housing societies have plundered the poor persons by posting alluring advertisements despite having no or little land.
He said every case of poor person is Mega corruption Case for him, fake Housing Societies looted life earned money of public without any remorse.
Business community also expressed its satisfaction and lauded the role of Chairman and pledged to continue playing their role in progress of the Country.
Director General NAB Lahore Shahzad Saleem, senior Vice President, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik and Senior Vice President of Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lahore were also present.— PRESS RELEASE