Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and its Young Entrepreneurs Forum (YEF) organized the launching ceremony of the survey report titled “Unpacking Corruption” in collaboration with Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). Representatives of various organizations like UNDP, ILO, HEC, USAID and various private sector entrepreneurs were also present at the occasion.
YEF of ICCI has conducted this survey across the different sectors of industries, including small and medium sectors from service, trade and even manufacturing industries, and large sample size was of young entrepreneurs. This survey aims to understand the perception of entrepreneurs on corruption, and come up with recommendations on how this menace can be tackled.
In his keynote address, Mr.Yassar Sakhi Butt, President ICCI said that corruption is one of the biggest problems of Pakistan and has become as a major stumbling block in the way of smooth growth of businesses and economic development of the country. He was responding to the Transparency International Pakistan’s National Corruption Perception Survey 2011 that ranked Pakistan at 134th position in 183 countries, which shows Pakistan as the 50th most corrupt country in the world.
Commenting upon the menace of corruption, Yassar Sakhi Butt said that the corruption has turned several public sector profit making entities into loss-making organizations which were causing huge financial losses to the national exchequer. Government must introduce reformed measures to ensure establishment of good governance, merit based and fair systems to address the issue of corruption, he maintained.
Shaban Khalid, Chairman of the YEF in his address also highlighted the significance of this survey as corruption. Corruption is one of the elements or barriers in preventing young entrepreneurs from entering in to the fields of business. He stressed that young people need to be encouraged to start-up new businesses to create jobs, increased revenues in the form of taxes, and overall economic growth. Unless more jobs are created the youth population may not be the change makers they have the potential to be for Pakistan.
Mr.Ali Salman, Consultant of this project spoke on the manifestations, causes, effects and remedies of corruption in the business environment of Pakistan and said that the key message of the survey is that corruption is viewed by the business community largely as a governance issue and offered recommendations to improve corporate governance, and rule of law environment.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Moin Fudda Country Director CIPE said that the best way to fight corruption is to prevent it, which could only be possible by improving efficiency, accountability, and transparency of systems. He said that fight against corruption is a long-term effort, thus, private sector being the supply side of the equation should also play its vital role in improving the situation.
Mr.Olaf Kellerhoff, Resident Representative, Friedrich Nauman Stiftung Fur Diefreheit gave a detailed presentation on different aspects of corruption and elaborated various regulatory measures to remove corruption from society. He said that through implementing proper rule of law, improving transparency, promoting privatization and adopting Transparency International tool kit the issue of corruption could be addressed.