ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance has shown its displeasure over the performance of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) with regard to the delay in investigation against officials involved in National Bank of Pakistan’s (NBP) Bangladesh scam. The committee met under the chairmanship of Qaiser Ahmad Sheikh on Thursday and discussed the agenda of inquiry status. The NAB director, while briefing the committee, said that the bureau was interrogating senior officials of the bank. He said that 814 violations had been surfaced during the process. “Investigation in the case is almost complete; we just have to examine the directors of the NBP to finalise the inquiry,” he further added. The committee chairman said that the NAB had abruptly completed an inquiry against a small businessman, while this inquiry was underway for the last eight to 10 years and nothing concrete had emerged. A member of the committee, Asad Umer, said that state institutions had been crippled. “If there is lacuna in the law than it should be amended, and if employees are not working properly than they should be sent home.” The committee ought to summon the regional head of the NAB for briefing in this case, he said. The NBP president informed the committee that the bank had conducted its internal inquiry in which 62 officers were involved. “The bank has recovered Rs 35 million out of 185 million, and efforts are underway to recover the remaining amount.” On this, the committee chairman asked the NBP president if NAB officials had interrogated him, because a story had been published in newspapers regarding that. The NBP president kept mum, whereas the NAB director said that the bureau had conducted an inquiry against the top officials of the bank but “we cannot tell whether the NAB interrogated the sitting president”. The committee directed NAB officials to present a detailed inquiry report of the NBP’ Bangladesh scam within three weeks. The committee members also showed their concern over the appointment and promotion policies of the bank. The committee chairman said the NBP had adopted discriminatory policies while making appointments and promotions. He said that the NBP gave higher rating to the candidates coming from LUMS and other such institutions. The committee unanimously decided that the NBP would have to furnish its appointment and promotion policies to the National Assembly Secretariat, and the same matter would thoroughly be discussed in the upcoming meeting of the committee. Asad Umer showed his concern over the advertisement published in newspapers regarding marketing of property in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He said that according to the Dubai authorities’ report, Pakistani people had invested $6.6 billion in property and other sector during the last three years and “I am trying to obtain the investment information from the SBP through this forum for the last eight months”. He further said that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had informed him that law prohibited individuals from investing in foreign companies, so this way investors were violating the law by making investment in Dubai and other countries. He said that the committee should call the SBP authorities for briefing on the transfer of funds by individuals or companies to the UAE. On this, the committee decided to summon officials from the SBP and other departments concerned in the next meeting. Asad Umer also asked the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairman to inform the committee about the investigation initiated against the Ramzan Sugar Mill over suspicious transaction to the tune of Rs 680 million in 2008. An SECP official stated that the institution had sent a letter to the British tax authorities about this activity, but they denied providing any information in this regard. Asad Umer further said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was the director of the Ramzan Sugar Mill at that time, and that it was not possible that British tax authorities did not provide information to the country’s sole regulator. To this, the official said that the SECP had initiated investigation against the company, and it was later shelved due to non-availability of proof. Another member of the committee, Talal Chaudhry, stated that a parallel case was being heard in the Supreme Court, so it was not wise to discuss the matter. He said that a lot of similar cases were lying with the SECP, so the committee should investigate them as well. Asad Umer said that the committee should probably know about all such pending cases. On this, the committee chairman directed the SECP officials to brief the members on the issue.