NAB would never harass any genuine businessman: Chairman

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ISLAMABAD, JAN 26 (DNA) – Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal, Chairman, NAB said that the business community was the backbone of the economy as it was rendering great service to the country by promoting business activities, providing jobs, increasing exports and bringing foreign exchange to the country, therefore, NAB would never take any action to harass any genuine businessman, but will go after those who commit fraud with people.

He said that NAB has never asked any businessman about his source of capital and investment except for money laundering cases. He said that NAB never stopped any investment project as they were contributing to strengthen the country’s economy.

He said that he has already issued instructions to NAB authorities that no businessman should be called through telephone to NAB office nor should be humiliated in any manner. He said that he had appointed one full time Director each in NAB HQs and regional offices to deal with the complaints of the business community, but no complaints were sent to them. He urged that the business community should take advantage of the services of these Directors for redress of their complaints.

He said that ICCI get the list of cases of the business community to send to him and he would decide them within 30 days except for those cases, which were sub-judice in courts. He said he was ready to provide a desk of NAB in ICCI for better coordination. He expressed these views while addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI). NAB Spokesman Nawazish Ali Asim also accompanied him.

Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal said that NAB has transferred all tax related and under invoices cases of business community to FBR and no such case of business community was currently pending with his institution. He said that if any businessman has any complaint against NAB, he should approach the Director of concerned area while he was also available on the last Thursday of every month for listening to the complaints of people.

He said that NAB got returned around Rs.5 billion of stuck-up investment from two housing societies to people in Islamabad/Rawalpindi and Lahore. He said that during his tenure, NAB has recovered Rs.487 billion and filed 1235 references in court, but even one percent of these references was not against the business community. He said that NAB also recovered billions of dollars from the king makers. He said that NAB also recovered Rs.10-15 billion of wheat theft from one province. He said that NAB was working only to protect the interests of the Estate of Pakistan and would never take dictation from any authority nor will it be blackmailed by anyone. He said that only 25-30 judges were dealing with 1235 references in NAB courts and emphasized that the strength of NAB courts should be increased for speedy trial of corruption cases.

Speaking at the occasion, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry lauded the efforts of Chairman NAB for elimination of corruption and said that reducing corruption & promoting transparency would help in better growth of business and investment activities. He said that NAB’s positive role was acknowledged by Transparency International, World Economic Forum and many other international bodies, which showed its constructive services for the country.

He said that doing business in Pakistan was quite challenging and stressed that the government should focus on promoting ease of doing business to put the country on the path of sustainable economic growth. He emphasized that NAB should open its Facilitation Desk at ICCI to address the NAB related issues of the business community and issues related to any other government department which are creating unnecessary hurdles and delays and especially those public servants that are encouraging any form of corruption within those departments.

This would help the entire business community across Pakistan in resolving their issues with all relevant departments with the help of NAB. He further urged that the government should take the business community fully on board in the policy making process that would help in quick revival of the economy.

He said that SBP should facilitate IT businesses and exporters in international payment. He said that FBR should not withdraw cash directly from bank accounts of taxpayers without the right of appeal and process of investigation as it was shattering the confidence of the business community.

Fatma Azim Senior Vice President, Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI and Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi former President ICCI thanked the Chairman NAB for visiting ICCI and giving the business community an opportunity to highlight their NAB related issues.

The representatives of Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Sialkot, Bhawalpur, Karachi and other chambers of commerce & Industry also attended the meeting through video link and highlighted various issues for the attention of Chairman NAB who assured them that he would also visit other chambers to address the issues of the business community.=DNA

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