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Punjab hub of public fund fraud, says NAB
06-19-2008, 09:54 AM
Post: #1
Punjab hub of public fund fraud, says NAB
* Speakers at seminar urge media to inform people about scams
* NAB director says bureau recovered Rs 223bn in 8 years
* Says Rs 8.37bn returned to 235,065 claimants

Staff Report

LAHORE: Punjab is the hub of public fraud and corruption, as thousands of people have become victims of such fraud in the recent past, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Director General Shahnawaz Badar said at a seminar held by NAB at Punjab Civil Officers Mess, GOR-I on Wednesday.

The seminar aimed at creating awareness among people about public fraud and corruption.

The NAB DG, who was presiding over the seminar, said the country was facing corruption in all sectors especially political, social and economic sectors. This was the reason why Pakistan had been placed at 38th rank among 129 corrupt countries of the world, he added. Citing the examples of Bhutan and Sri Lanka, he said that they were also under-developed countries but they had less corruption.

He said Punjab was the most affected province in context to public fraud and corruption, especially Gujranwala, Gujrat and Jhelum districts. He also stressed the need for public-private partnership to curb corruption in the society.

Media: Around 300 people including students, teachers, officials of law enforcement agencies, NAB officials and victims of several public fraud also attended the seminar.

Speakers urged the media to sensitise people about fraud and corruptions cases and help the government control the scams.

Addressing the seminar, author and writer Amjad Islam Amjad held social injustice responsible for the corruption in society. He said the solution to several social problems rested in equal distribution of sources among people. He also urged the judiciary to eliminate corruption from the society.

Recovery: NAB Director Farooq Hamid said NAB had overall recovered Rs 223 billion during the last eight years. He claimed that it was the highest recovery ever.

Claimant: Hamid said NAB had recovered Rs 2 billion in cash and Rs 10.6 billion through the sale of 117 properties of the co-operative finance companies and returned Rs 8.37 billion to 235,065 claimants.

About the Double Shah scam, he said NAB had recovered around Rs 1.5 billion and returned Rs 530 million to 10,000 claimants. NAB had also recovered Rs 1.7 billion from several forex companies and returned Rs 75 million to 1,500 claimants, he added.

Prisons Minister Abdul Ghafoor said the increasing public fraud and corruption could be controlled through awareness.

Revenue Minister Muhammad Ishaq urged people to play their role in eliminating corruption from the country. He praised the media for highlighting fraud and corruption cases.

Provincial Minister Farooq Yousuf Ghurki said the government should take appropriate measures to uproot corruption and fraud for the society.

Journalist Arif Nizami said accountability was conducted on political basis in Pakistan and only a few culprits had been penalised.

He said almost every member of the previous government had been involved in corruption cases. “Several of them were cleared by NAB,” he added.

A participant, Mrs Jallaluddin, alleged that the NAB officials were not recovering her money from Brigadier ® Zaheer, who launched his business and persuaded people to invest in it. Zaheer had promised the investors that he would give double profit on their investments, she added.

A NAB official said they had been trying to recover the complete amount from the culprit (Zaheer). He said NAB had recovered around 20 percent of the total amount and equally distributed the money the complainants.

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