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Old Wednesday, June 13, 2007
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Default Corruption in Pakistani Soceity: its Causes and Cure

The Economist in its issue of May 22, 1999, argued that when a government sets about under-mining institutios, it is time to start thinking about shutting off the flow of money. It recomended that countries like paistan should not be given any moey. it went on to say that with out an independet and free press, there is a little chance of accountability and openess essential development.It concluded that it i not the time for the IMF and The WB to be lendingmoney to Pakistan and that pakistan needs an accountable governament. Actually a firm corelation between economic activity and corruption is existed . as soon as the governamnt or any of its deppartment become a part to a contract , corruption creep in.


corruption includes tax evasion , write-off, of bank loan, shenanigans (dishonesty) in the privatisation process, smuggling, over invocing, grants of stake land to favourities and the bending of rules in appointment and promotions.

Defeinig corruption as disease as wrong since it really is a symptoms of a wider maliase. No one pay much attention to the disease. if Pakistan is lucky to have a Prime Minister Or President who is not only honest but also comettent and believes in strenthning weak institutions, then there would be some hope for optimism.

The only course of of action open to the few upright people left in the civil services is to show fearleness and be able to use their spine to stand up and be coounted, even if in the process they may come to grief.

the right kind of poeple are always in minority . but what is important is to allow this minority to grow to be able to make a difference. in both Italy and France, it was a handful of determined up-right Magistrate who brought about a welcome change in thier political culture. Honesty should not accepting gifts, it should extend to standing fr principle.

Corruption has struck deep resort in Pakistan's soil. this is essentially for three reasons.

One, some form of corruptoined are sanctioned, even encouraged, by our culture. Practices and Belifs that are part of oye culture also fertilize the soil in which the plant of corruption sturdly and strange.

Two, the expansionof governamnet espaecilly sine Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's programme of Nationalization, has brought the state very close to a large number of people. but increasein the size of the governament has mean an increase in the power of the civil services, which has been excersed within weak and constantly weakning legal and judicial system. without much fear of accuntability , civil servant often collect heavy rents from the citizen they are meant to help.

Three, even though the state has become strange , its functionaries are poorly compinsated. those who can comepnsate themselves by exacting bribes from the poeple they serve did mostly uncheked . unfortunaly the number of public servants who have taken this route to increase their compenstaion has multiplied over the years.

the presistent problem of corruption demans is a well thought-out programme that gets firmly embeded in the country's reformed legal and judicail syatem. such a programme at least aim to acheive two results:

one to create an accountability syatem that firmly rootde in the legal syatem
second is to establish a smaller public sector that pays worker reasonable monetary compensation.

Before going to discuss these two aspects of the solution to the problem of corruption I would like to emphasis one thing about the Accountability Proqgramme`.

The government of Perviz Musharaf is the first administration in 55 years long history that has shown pateince and persistance indealing with Public Sector corruptoin.

The militray government concentrated its attention initially on pushing those who had commited agregious acts of corruption in the past . it built on the sytem established by Interim Govt heade by PM Meraj Khlid in 1996-97. the Interim Govt Ihtisab Commision, already metamorphosed by the administration of PM Nawaz Sharif , became the Natinal Accountability bureau- the NAB.

According to recent WB report the NAB "the NAB successfully prosecuted large number of high Govt officials politicians, senoir military officers and major tax and loan defaulters".

The NAB was made responsble for investigation cases of corruption as wel as prosecuting the corrupt. in 2001-02, in the investigative area, the Bureau was authrised to persue 1,060 cases which 372 were competed and 80 were closed. in the area of prosecution the Buraeu filed 397 cases in the courts of which 198 were decided. Among the decided cases, 169 convictions were recieved cases while 23 charged persons with acquitted. At 85% of the rate of the convection was very high. At the moment 199 cases are in progress in the courts. The Bureau programme also resulted in significant financial reward for the Govt. In the report, WB estimates that the NAB has collectde the total of $1.5 billion form the people it investigated and who aere told by the courts to make financial settlement with the Govt. the amount is equivalent to 2.4 % of Pakistan GDP. It is more than the entire production by th Govt inone year in the important sectors of education and health. The programme in the other words, has already yeild a significant financail return.

The NAB under the Gen. Perviz Musharaf has fullfilled one imortant condition of success of anti-corruption efforts sustainably.

At early stages Ehtisab Bureau worked effecintly and reffred 64 casse to the HC for trail on suspected misconduct. But later on due to the politicisation of the Bureau under Senate Chairman Saifu Rehman , a close associte and protege of PM Nawaz Sharif, brought the entire to discredit and disrepute. It was on the weakend foundation that the Govt of Gen Perviz Musharaf went bout the new structure. Its original appraoch although well meaning resulted in several miststeps. Among them two are following:

The first misstep was the very harsh quasi-legal frame work within which the reconstituted National Accountability Bureau was required to work extreme zealous on the part of the Buraeu's first set of leaders resulted in considerable herassment, particlarly of bussiness men. This was the first that the anti corruption programme was being directed at the bussiness community. This was a mistake since all ecnmic activity is supposed to be governed by laws and regulation that define the space within which bussiness operates. If this space has been breached , the existing legal and regulatory from work need to be strengthen. It also created a great sense of insecurity and uncertainity among people as to exactly which set of laws pertained to them. Investors abhor uncertiainity. the NAB's effort contributed to sour the investment climate.

The Secont mistae was_ and continue to be _ the exclusion of the one set of public servaant from NAB's reach. With a couple of expectations, Defende Personnel were spared examination on the ground that they heel thier own regorious system of accountability. But so do the bankers and bussiness community. Their ecnomic activities are aslo gverned by numerous laws and regulations. if thses ;aws and regulation do not discourage corporate corruption then they need to be strengthen. confusion resulted_and has resulted_by adding another layer of accountability to the system. The NAB should be concerned only with Public servants_ member of civil services and elected public officials.

Now the aother aspects of teh broad systemtic change needed to help contain corruption by Public servants. Pakistan pays its Civil Services poorly while the burden placed on it continueto increase. In many cases_ especial for Senior Civil Servents_ the total remunertion hides a number of susides. In 1988, a grade_22 officila recieved a monthly compenstaion of Rs 1o0,200 of wihch the basic pay at Rs 17,000, was a small amount . Housing at Rs 30,000 was the largest component of the compensation package. One fourth (1/4) of the compensatin comes in the form of transprot_ the use of a car a driver , petrol , and vehical maintance.

A rational system would pay a senior civil servant close to the top salaries in the private sector and the bulk of the compensation would be in the for of salary . In 2002, a Grade-22 officail should recive about Rs 500,000 form which he or she should pay housing, transport, telephone, and some cotribution to a pension fund. However, salareis at that scale can only be accomodated if the size of the Civil Service is reduced quite significantly . This need to be done at all levels at wihgch the Govt is opreting_ federal , provincail and district.

Civil Services reform has recieved a fair amount of attention by the Musharaf govt. It needs to ensure that takes office after the electio in Oct 2002.

Jamali Govt continue to pursue that effort . The NAB by itslef wll not deliver Pkistan from public sector corruption . a much broader appraoch , required , including scaling down the size of the govt and singnificantly improving the level of compensation for those who work for it.



THE END

regards

shahid khan mohmand
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Last edited by Qurratulain; Friday, June 15, 2007 at 11:11 AM. Reason: The article needs to be organized as a single post
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Old Sunday, November 04, 2007
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i like
it is very good effort
keep it up
i hope e it will improve with the passage of time
wish u all best of luck
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