ISLAMABAD, January 26:Politicians are least corrupt when compared with bureaucrats and businessmen in the country, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday.
The NAB data pertaining to the recoveries made through voluntary return and plea bargain submitted to PAC revealed that the recoveries made from politicians were the lowest among bureaucrats, businessmen and others.
The data states that the amount recovered by the anti-graft watchdog amounted to a total of Rs54.63 billion, out of which only Rs0.47 billion belonged to politicians. The bureau recovered Rs8.17 billion from bureaucrats, Rs24.31 billion from businessmen and Rs21.68 billion from others.The total amount includes Rs19.12 billion recovered through voluntary return and Rs35.51 billion via plea bargain. Out of Rs0.47 billion, the politicians returned only Rs0.05 billion voluntarily and Rs0.42 as a plea bargain.
In addition, bureaucrats returned Rs3.96 voluntarily while Rs4.21 was recovered from them through a plea bargain. Businessmen plea bargained the most with Rs17.16 billion and returned Rs7.15 voluntarily to NAB.
Responding to a question by committee members, the NAB officials clarified that the only difference between voluntary return and a plea bargain was of conviction.
“Plea bargain carries conviction,” they said. PPP’s Sherry Rehman wondered “who could be these angels who voluntarily returned the money to NAB”.
Meanwhile, NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal once again skipped the PAC hearing on account of being tested positive for Covid-19.
However, neither PAC chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain nor the committee members made any hue and cry over DG NAB Hasnain Ahmed giving a briefing.
Last time, PAC had refused to take briefing over chairman NAB’s absence and a letter from NAB stating that Prime Minister Imran Khan had barred the anti-graft chairman from appearing before parliamentary committees, including PAC.-PR