Don’t act like Mahatma’s monkeys: Omar tells bureaucrats
Jammu, Jan 27: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday pulled up the state bureaucracy for its failure to effectively check corruption, saying, “We really need to make more efforts to check it and it has to be weeded out from the top.”
“We are number two (in the list of most corrupt states of the country)..... In this battle to stop corruption, we are equally responsible,” Omar remarked while addressing the 10th state-level conference organised by the State Vigilance Organisation at Police Auditorium at Gulshan Ground here.
Chief Minister’s directive to the bureaucrats on corruption caught everybody off guard. “Officials are sitting with their eyes, ears and mouths shut to the corruption and nepotism around them. They must take steps to weed out corruption from higher level,” he maintained.
Omar, however, said, “Although the responsibility lies with me... the buck stops here... the buck of responsibility. So be it. The buck stops with me. But it starts with you (officials).”
On the efforts of State Vigilance Organisation to check corruption, he said, “It is an area of continuing concern for me and a lot of personal dissatisfaction for me. We have not done as much as we should have.”
He said, “It is not good enough to trap somebody taking Rs 5000 when we cannot trap somebody taking in lakhs. This is pretty much the story today.”
Chief Minister lamented that the figures while trapping a corrupt official don’t go above four digits. “It is extremely rare when the figure crosses five digits and I don’t remember a case, I could be wrong, when the figure runs to six digits or more…”
“From highways, where trucks are queued up for minting money, to ration cards, state subjects, land mutation to illegal electricity connections-- there is an endless list. It is this corruption that irritates people,” he said.
He further said, “We have not been able to make a sufficient dent. We really need to make more efforts to check it and it is to be checked from the top.”
The chief minister said there was a need to put in place a transfer policy and strictly implement it. “Because the institutional system that has started functioning... transfers and postings are done on grounds other than merit and it fails the system.”
Asking the officials to take on the “monster” of corruption in J&K, he said, “There is need for a strong will. The silence of the honest people and the actions of the dishonest-- both affect us.”
He further said that he would be “much satisfied” when big sharks are trapped and solid case are established against them.
Chief Minister said that there is need to appoint full time departmental vigilance officer for all such departments which are so-called prone to corruption. He said that in two ministries which are held by him particularly R&B and Power departments, he would like to have full time vigilance officers to keep a constant eye on the ground.
He also said that on the pattern of CBI, incentive scheme is to be introduced in Vigilance Organization so that the officials who detect corruption cases receive appropriate reward for the same.
Omar said corruption cannot be eradicated through magic wand overnight but once there is a determination and honest will, it can be substantially minimized by adopting full transparency in administration.
He said that he is conscious of the fact that at various stages the sanction for the prosecution remains pending adding, “I am very clear that no immunity shall be given to any corrupt person against whom prosecution is sought by the vigilance organization to be intensified.”
He said that E-tendering is required to be started to maintain full transparency in tendering system and allotment of works. He said that he has already made it clear that frequent transfers should not be made a means of corruption.
Earlier, the Chief Secretary, S S Kapur, said that during last two years not only new Right to Information Act was passed in consonance with central RTI Act but also several other decisions were taken to ensure proactive measures for enforcing full transparency in the system.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST
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