President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday signed an ordinance that sharply reduces the jurisdiction of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and enables the president to reappoint the incumbent NAB chairman or extend his tenure, reports Dawn.

Federal Law Minister Barrister Dr Farogh Naseem and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain earlier held a press conference and explained that the law would enable NAB to focus on mega corruption cases.

The salient features of the ordinance, as reported by Dawn, are: the National Acco­untability Second Ame­n­dment Ordinance 2021 has amplified the Opposition’s role in the appointment of the NAB chairman.


“All matters pertaining to Federal, Provincial or Local taxation, other levies or imposts, including refunds, or loss of exchequer pertaining to taxation will be dealt with in accordance with the revenue or banking laws and will be transferred from the accountability courts to the courts of competent jurisdiction.”

“NAB cannot proceed against any person or entity who, or transaction in relation thereto, which are not directly or indirectly connected with the holder of a public office…procedural lapses in any public or governmental work, project or scheme, unless it is shown that a holder of public office or any other person has been conferred or has received any monetary or another material benefit from that particular public or governmental work.”

“The ordinance has amended Sub-section (b) of Section (6) of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) to grant extension in the tenure of the NAB chairman by excluding the word non-extendable from the statute.”

“However, it has retained the proviso that makes consultation between the Opposition leader and the leader of the house in the National Assembly on the appointment of NAB chairman but states that the president would consult both of them.”

“The ordinance has increased the role of the Opposition and enhanced the parliamentary oversight as it has provided a forum of a 12-member parliamentary committee in case the consultation between the Prime Minister and the Opposition leader proves futile.”

“The ordinance has enhanced the authority of prosecutor general of NAB empowering him to play a crucial role in advising the chairman to file or withdraw any reference from the court. It has also allowed the accountability court to grant bail to any accused.”