ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday decided that action would be taken against heads of government departments and that they would be held equally responsible if someone in their department was found guilty of corruption or any other misconduct.
This was decided in a meeting chaired by the Minister for Interior Rehman Malik, who reiterated that the government would take strict action against corrupt public office holders. “We wanted that the head of the concerned office should also be arrested for abetment in case of any ‘trap case’ or sting operation,” said the minister.
The meeting also decided that action would be taken against banks for giving loans without adequate guarantees and examination of past transactions of applicants; who were allegedly found to be guilty of bribing bank staff for undue favour.
An oversight committee has been constituted. It consists of four former federal secretaries, NAB, State Bank and departmental heads here on Thursday. However, analysts believe that the attempt was lacking in attention on the government’s behalf due to the lack of a strong mechanism to eliminate corruption.
“A paradigm shift is also needed to take strict action against ‘Hawala’ business as well as to curb money laundering in the market,” said Rehman Malik.
The meeting also decided that the Federal Investigation Agency would expeditiously complete investigations into the malpractices of the Trading Corporation, National Insurance Corporation, Sui Gas and hiring of accommodation for Haj pilgrims and others.
The meeting reviewed modalities for the implementation of the government’s policy to make public offices corruption free through an anti-corruption campaign launched by the Minister on Thursday.
“This is the first step against corrupt elements. The FIA has also been directed to start an inquiry into sugar hoarding and take action against the culprits,” said Malik.
An oversight committee comprising of four federal secretaries, NAB and the Auditor General’s Office will ensure that the campaign is pursued vigorously and that there is no undue victimisation or harassment.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2010.