Don’t be defensive, make country corruption-free: PM Modi tells CVC officers

‘MARCH AHEAD TO DO YOUR DUTY HONESTLY’ ‘Those with vested interests will cry hoax, try to give a bad name to institutions, but people will stand by the truth’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses at the programme marking Vigilance Awareness Week of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), in New Delhi on Thursday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses at the programme marking Vigilance Awareness Week of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), in New Delhi on Thursday.ANI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday urged the officers of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to march ahead to do their duty honestly and not be defensive while making the country corruption-free.

An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that addressing a programme marking Vigilance Awareness Week of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, and launching the new Complaint Management System portal of the CVC, the PM said that when the CVC officers would go on an offensive, those with vested interests would cry hoax and try to give a bad name to the institutions but people would understand the truth and stand by the truth. 

“The entire life of Sardar Patel was dedicated to honesty, transparency, and the building of a public service system based on these values,” he said at the Vigilance Awareness Week that began with the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.

The PM said that the campaign revolving around awareness and alertness was based on these principles.

He said that the campaign of Vigilance Awareness Week was taking place to realise the dreams and aspirations of a corruption-free India and underlined its importance in the lives of every citizen.

The PM said that for a developed India, trust and credibility were critical and that people’s trust in the government enhances people’s self-confidence.

He said that the earlier governments not only lost people’s confidence but also failed to trust people.

“The legacy from the long period of slavery of corruption, exploitation, and control over resources, unfortunately, received more strength after the independence. This severely harmed at least four generations of this country,” the PM said. “We have to change this decades-long way fully in the Azadi ka Amrit Kaal.”

Referring to his clarion call from the ramparts of Red Fort for a decisive battle against corruption the PM pointed out two key reasons for corruption and hindering people's progress – lack of amenities and unnecessary pressure from the government.

He said that for a very long time, this absence of amenities and opportunity was deliberately kept alive and a gap was allowed to widen leading to an unhealthy competition of a zero-sum race.

“This race fed the ecosystem of corruption. Corruption created by this scarcity affects the poor and middle classes the most. If the poor and middle class spend their energy to arrange for the basic amenities, then how will the country progress?” the PM said. “That is why we have been trying to change this system of scarcity and pressure for the last 8 years. The government is trying to fill the gap between supply and demand. The three ways adopted to achieve this are advancement in technology, taking basic services to the saturation level, and finally heading towards Atmanirbharta.”

Regarding the use of technology, he said by linking PDS to technology, crores of fake beneficiaries had been removed, saving over Rs 2 lakh crore from going to the wrong hands by adopting Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

The PM said that the adoption of transparent digital transactions and transparent government procurement through GeM was making a huge difference.

Speaking on taking the basic facilities to the saturation level, he pointed out that reaching every eligible beneficiary of any government scheme and achieving the goals of saturation puts an end to discrimination in society while eliminating the scope of corruption.

Highlighting the principle of saturation that is adopted by the government for the delivery of every scheme, the PM gave examples of water connections, pucca houses, electricity connections, and gas connections.

He said that too much dependence on foreign goods had been a big cause of corruption.

The PM highlighted the government’s push towards Atmanirbharta in defence and underlined that the possibility of scams was ending as India would be manufacturing its defence equipment, from rifles to fighter jets to transport aircraft.

Terming CVC an institution that encourages everyone's efforts to ensure transparency, he recalled his request last time for ‘preventive vigilance’ and praised the efforts of CVC in that direction.

The PM asked the vigilance community to think about modernising their audits and inspections.

“The will which the government is showing against corruption, the same will is necessary to be seen in all the departments as well. For a developed India, we have to develop such an administrative ecosystem, which has zero tolerance on corruption,” he said.

The PM asked for a system where corruption-related disciplinary proceedings were completed in a time-bound mission mode.

He also suggested continuous monitoring of criminal cases and asked to devise a way of ranking departments based on pending corruption cases and publishing the related reports on a monthly or quarterly basis.

The PM also asked for streamlining of the vigilance clearance process with the help of technology.

“There is a need for auditing the data of public grievances so that we can go to the root causes of corruption in the concerned department,” he said.

The PM stressed the need to bring in common citizens in the work of keeping a vigil over corruption. “No matter how powerful the corrupt may be, they should not be saved under any circumstances, it is the responsibility of organisations like you. No corrupt person should get political-social support, every corrupt person should be put in the dock by the society, it is also necessary to create this environment”, he said. Touching upon a worrying trend,” he said. “We have seen that many times the corrupt people are glorified despite being jailed even after being proven to be corrupt. This situation is not good for Indian society. Even today, some people give arguments in favour of the corrupt who have been found guilty. It is very necessary for such people, such forces to be made aware of their duty by society. In this also concrete action taken by your department has a big role.”

The PM emphasised that institutions acting against the corrupt and corruption like the CVC did not need to be defensive in any way.

He said that there was no requirement to work on any political agenda but to work towards making the lives of ordinary citizens simpler.

“Those who have vested interests will try to obstruct the proceedings and defame individuals associated with these institutions,” the PM said. “Janta Janardan is the form of God. They know and test the truth, and when the time comes, they stand with those in support of the truth.”

He urged everyone to walk the path of truth to fulfill their duties with dedication and emphasised, “When you take action with conviction, the whole nation stands with you.”

Concluding the address, the PM said that the responsibility was huge and the challenges keep transforming too.

“I am sure that you will continue to play a vital role in building a transparent and competitive ecosystem in Amrit Kaal,” he said.

The PM stressed the need for constant dynamism in the methodology to tackle this challenge.

He also expressed delight in interacting with the winners of the essay competition and suggested the introduction of a speech competition in the future.

Observing that four of the five winners who received the essay prize for the fight against corruption were girls, the PM urged the boys to take up the mantle and rally together in this journey.

“The importance of cleanliness is understood only when the dirt is eliminated,” he said. “Technology is leaving a paper trail of sorts when it comes to tracking those who work outside the ambit of the law.”

The PM stressed the need to adopt technology as much as possible in this fight against corruption.

Principal Secretary P K Mishra, Minister of State for Personnel and Parliamentary Affairs Jitendra Singh, Cabinet Secretary and Central Vigilance Commissioner Suresh N Patel, and Vigilance Commissioners P K Srivastava and Arvinda Kumar were present on the occasion.

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