By Dr. Saeed Ahmad Ali
LAHORE, Jan 22 (APP): Almost one year after the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, the deep economic recession has triggered around the world, shaking huge economies by bringing some profound economic and social consequences.
The current Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) reflects that no nation has emerged unscathed during 2020-2021, showing countries with advanced digital economies, skills, digital technologies, robust social safety nets and additionally, special experience in their credit for coping with epidemics have better managed the impact of the corona pandemic on their economies and citizens.
Seeing in a broad spectrum, in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), the economy of Pakistan is the 22nd largest in the world, while 42nd largest in terms of nominal gross domestic product.
Experts and academics have spent a lot of time in calculating and analysing research based data to better understand the relationship between the ratio of corruption and economic growth indicators.
Most of them had termed corruption as the misuse of public office to count benefits for one’s personal or private gains, and after even years of research it finds that corruption hinders the development of any country or specific body.
Like other countries Pakistan is also facing a serious issue of the menace of corruption.
It is obvious that good governance always flourish in a corruption free situation. Pakistan, during the last regimes of Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League (N) had unfortunately been way down on the ladder on this account.
Corruption has penetrated in all segments and formation of society including public, private, judicial, political, commercial and even religions has been indulged in all kinds of this menace including mega, moderate and petty permeates.
During the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government the awareness of political corruption and money laundering in the general public and emergence of a strong civil society has been witnessed.
Under the United Nations Convention against Corruption, Pakistan had established a bureau to hold transparent accountability namely National Accountability Bureau ( NAB), a focal institution of the country.
NAB under clause 33-C of National Accountability Ordinance (NAO)-1999 has constituted an impressive strategy of awareness and prevention to educate people about the ill-effects of corruption, which is known globally as the mother of all evils.
From time to time the efforts of NAB in recovering the money from corrupt elements have been appreciated by national and international reputed organizations like Transparency International Pakistan, Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) and Mishal Pakistan.
According to the Census of Pakistan-2017, the estimated population of the country is 220 million, and as per various surveys on recovery of looted money, Gillani and Gallup Survey had shown that 59 percent of the total population of the country had expressed trust upon NAB’s performance.
The World Economic Forum has released the Global Competitiveness Report-2020 during the first week of this month.
Commenting on this report, Amir Jahangir, country Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan, Country’s noted Partner Institute of New Economy and Societies Platform of World Economic Forum, has appreciated the efforts of NAB in a statement for undertaking to eradicate corruption and recovering looted money of Rs714 billion through direct and indirect methods from corrupt elements.
Jahangir while lauding the digital presence of NAB among the country people, expressed the hope that the Bureau will enhance and gear up its performance regarding the looted money.
The recognition of the extraordinary developments of NAB during 2020 and unified global effort required to tackle the plundered money crisis and its socioeconomic fallout, he observed while quoting the report.
According to a NAB document, there are more than1230 corruption references under its trial in the respective accountability courts of the country, in which their approximate amount is Rs947 billion.
It may be mentioned here that the Prime Minister Imran Khan has recently eulogized the performance of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for recovering at least Rs200 billion which is more during the last two years than as compared to the past recoveries of illegal money which was made during the two combined political tenures of Pakistan Muslim League (N) and the Pakistan People’s party (PPP).
The PM Imran Khan while talking to twitter said when the state institutions are allowed to work without political interference and their functioning is carried out independently, then the nation gets its fruitful reward.”
The total looted money recoveries by NAB in two years, from 2019 to 2020 is Rs.389 billion which is more in comparison to previous 10 years’ (2008 to2018) money recoveries of Rs104 billion” the prime minister elaborated.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill in his recent statement has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would hold every politician or even a single person accountable involved in corruption or money plundering.
The time had proved that the decision of not giving any sort of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to the thieves, money plunderers and corrupt figures was a right decision of the Prime Minister Imran Khan, Gill said.