KARACHI: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) committee members gathered at a local club to commemorate the International Anti-Corruption Day and resolved to fight corruption in all forms by first creating awareness, then identifying and finally reporting corruption without fear.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver speaking on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day said the business community must come forward and discourage corruption as it is morally and ethically bound to fight against corruption which is increasing and need to be attacked and curtailed. The business men have to pay speed money to get work done and without paying money, the work remains pending and objections are raised and the applicant is harassed unnecessarily.
“The anti corruption organization alone cannot achieve much without the support of the business community. The businessmen need to voice concern collectively and pressurize the government to take strict action against the corrupt and deal with them with an iron hand. Secondly, the business community should resolve not to oblige the corrupt officials and refrain from bribery to get their work done,” Thaver said.
He lamented that the businessmen were not reporting crime due to fear of victimization and said it was very necessary to report the crime for the prosecution and to measure the rate of crime under each police station house officer (SHO) so that the head of police department could warn him and demote him if necessary. “Corruption is making life miserable for the businessmen and the corrupt persons are not even sparing the small businessmen and demanding gratification”
He said there was a time when the business community was feeling unsafe due to the gangsters who were demanding extortion money and threatening to kidnap and kill them on refusal. Street crime had increased and every second person was complaining of having been robbed. The dacoits and thieves were operating in broad daylight and the police was ill- equipped to deal with them as they had better arms than the police. There were reports of the policemen involved in crime. Shops, offices, factories and houses looted in broad daylight and the dacoits had become very bold and operating fearlessly. The situation has improved and the businessmen are feeling safe and secured due to the Rangers help and vigilance. However the businessmen are apprehensive of the situation not remaining stable for long if the Rangers slacken their control.
Thaver urged the government to grant permission to the business community to hire licensed private detectives to investigate and identify the criminals and for the support of the SMEs, it is recommended that an SME liaison committee (SME-LC) be established to enable them to have collective protection squads in markets and industrial areas and also to enable them report the crime through the SME-LC without fear of harassment by the police.
The committee urged the government to place the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) under the Supreme Court to make it independent, impartial and transparent. The committee also invited the attention of the government to the institutional corruption in the corporations and government and semi-government organizations and urged the government to take the matter seriously on top priority basis.