Government employees, business community insulated from National Accountability Bureau


The ordinance also said that the property of government employees cannot be frozen without a court order.

Pakistan President Arif Alvi on Friday, December 27, gave his assent to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Amendment Ordinance, 2019, which also got the nod from the federal cabinet earlier in the day. NAB will not have the authority to take action against government employees.

Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that with the passage of a new ordinance the business community of the country will be insulated from the scrutiny of the NAB. The ordinance also said that the property of government employees cannot be frozen without a court order. If NAB cannot complete its probe against a suspect within three months, the accused will be entitled to bail.

The prime minister said that the business community had always expressed their fear of the institution when they met with him, as it was “free to probe anyone”.

“It is our contention that NAB should engage in the scrutiny of public office holders only. For the business community, there is the FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) and other institutions as well as the courts.”

He said it was important to have taken this step because “NAB had become a major hurdle in the way of the business community”.

Moreover, the anti-corruption watchdog will now be able to proceed in corruption cases of Rs500 million and more.

NAB’s jurisdiction over matters relating to tax, stock exchange, and IPOs have been curtailed, according to the ordinance.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and building control authorities will be the sole authorities tasked to act on all such matters, according to the Pakistani news outlet.

Also, for land evaluation purposes, the NAB will seek guidance from the Federal Board of Revenue or the District Collector.

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