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Release of Global Corruption Report 2008

Transparency International's Global Corruption Report 2008 released on 25th June 2008 analyzes how corruption affects all aspects of the water sector, from water resources management to drinking water services, irrigation and hydropower.

Syed Adil Gilani Chairman, TI Pakistan, said that corruption in Pakistan's water sector since decades has been one of the major cause of slow economic development, shortage of power, irrigation as well as potable water. The Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is responsible for major development, operation, distribution and maintaining dams, barrages, irrigation systems, hydropower plants as well as thermal power plants. Pakistan’s Indus Basin Irrigation System, the world’s largest water diversion scheme with more than 1.6 million kilometers of watercourses, is a prominent example of how corruption pervades economic development and distorts the priorities of infrastructure investment. Rather than counteract the pervasive dynamics of corruption. Pakistan’s water sector, like many of those around the world, is fraught with large and small-scale corruption. According to a 2003 and 2006 survey by Transparency International, Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Agency is perceived to be the second most corrupt institution in the country. Close to half of the more than 31,000 complaints received by Pakistan’s anti-corruption ombudsman in 2002 were related to this one institution. He quoted the World Bank Pakistan water strategy report 2005 admits that top positions in the country’s water bureaucracy are sold at a high price.

The Global Corruption Report 2008 reveals, there are several encouraging initiatives from all over the world that demonstrate success in tackling water corruption. This is the pivotal message that more than twenty experts and practitioners emphasize in this report.

The second part of the Global Corruption Report 2008 provides a snapshot of corruption-related developments in thirty-five countries from all world regions.

Pakistan Country report comprises of legal and institutional changes in 2007, application of Public Procurement Rules in Sindh, and the Judicial crises occurred due to 9th March 2007 action against Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Military Role in grabbing of land, companies, such as the military has held unaccountable power for most of Pakistan’s sixty years of existence and the weapons procurement with the secrecy such deals attract – has provided a flourishing channel for corruption.

The GCR 2008 also analysis the scale of the inroads made by the military into ‘civilian’ sectors of Pakistan’s economy, including land, construction, property, manufacture, fertilizers, agriculture, road-building, trucking, etc, and that full generals enjoy individual wealth in excess of US$8.3 million, while President Musharraf has converted US$690,000 of army-granted farmland in Islamabad into US$10.34 million of movable assets.

The report talks about the incident where Justice Chaudhry had reversed the privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills to friends of highest government functionaries and actively pursued the case of the several hundred ‘missing persons’ Since his appointment in June 2005 Chief Justice Chaudhry had worked to clear the backlog of cases before the Supreme Court, then standing at 25,808. He had demonstrated an independence of mind that had been missing from the Supreme Court since 1999, when General Musharraf, having taken power, demanded that judges approve a Provisional Constitutional Order barring the court from challenging his authority on constitutional grounds. This they did.

TI Pakistan conducted its second National Corruption Perceptions Survey from April to July 2006 indicated that the majority of respondents were of the view that corruption in Pakistan in last three years increased by 100%..

On water corruption the report quotes the case of US$265 million project to reline the province’s canal system, where M/s Nespak of Lahore for consultancy works had provided a technically superior offer, and also that their quoted cost of US$6.2 million was the least expensive. In the second procurement process, which TI Pakistan monitored, the purchase of US$10.3 million worth of heavy earth-moving machinery and workshop equipment, to compare the 2007 prices with a similar procurement made earlier in 1994, even after a 15 per cent devaluation of the rupee, TI Pakistan was able to ensure savings of 22.7–42 per cent on excavators and bulldozers over 1994 purchase costs. This is partially due to the application of Public Procurement Rules of 2004.

According to TI Pakistan NCPS 2006 bribe paid annually is Rs 45 billion.

"Pakistan is drowning in corruption due to the absence of Rule of Law", said Syed Adil Gilani, Chairman of TI Pakistan. He reminded the political parties to fulfill the commitment given to the nation in their election manifesto that "Judiciary shall be fully independent” and that “There will be no discretion in any administrative decision taken by government servants."

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