LAHORE: A day after the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) sought legal clarity from the federal government on the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) chairman removal, the Bureau has come up in support of its chief and said the NAB under the three-and-a-half years tenure of Javed Iqbal has so far recovered Rs 502 billion from 'corrupt elements' as compared to the recovery of Rs 286 billion from 2000 to 2016.
A NAB spokesperson said on Tuesday former Justice Javed Iqbal after assuming the charge of NAB chairman some three-and-a-half years back had introduced 'several reforms' due to which a 'record' improvement in NAB's working was seen as compared to the 17 years in the past.
It may be mentioned that NAB chairman Javed Iqbal, whose four-year-tenure is going to complete on Oct 8, is facing a reference in the SJC against the backdrop of a leaked video showing alleged clandestine meetings of the NAB chairman with a suspect, Tayyaba Gull, facing a NAB inquiry.
From 1999 to March 2021, the spokesperson said they had received a total of 487,964 complaints out of which 479,685 had been disposed off or met their logical end. Similarly during the same period, the NAB initiated a total of 10,041 inquiries out of which 9,141 inquiries were completed, he added.
About the mega corruption cases, he said that under the "current circumstances" 63 cases have been disposed off while 95 cases are pending before various courts. He added that to ensure further transparency in public projects, the NAB under the leadership of Javed Iqbal signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China to uproot alleged corruption in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
Underlining further achievements of Javed Iqbal, the spokesperson claimed that NAB by keeping in view genuine concerns of the business community had decided in principle to refer all the cases related to income and sales tax to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Customs Department. The NAB also set up help desks in all the regional offices under the supervision of concerned deputy directors to facilitate the businessmen, he added.
While highlighting the reforms taken place under the command of Iqbal, the spokesperson said they had established an anti-corruption academy where trainings are being imparted to the officials for enhancing their capabilities to probe white collar crimes. He claimed that Javed Iqbal also introduced the concept of 'combined investigation teams' (CITs) so that dictatorship of one person could be eliminated.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021