20 Point Agenda to Prevent Corruption

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Feb. 9 – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is set to sketch an inclusive program to add precision and morals to the vital part of authority at all levels of government. Singh desires efficient steps to crack down on corruption occurring between politicians and bureaucrats. Earlier, the Union Law Minister also raised the issue of fighting corruption.

The Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) is being set up under the chairmanship of the Union Law Minister ARC also submitted 15 reports to the central government with suggestions on how to combat the sleaze. Some of the key pieces to the plan include setting up vigilance commissions at the state-level to compact with corruption cases, as well as ethics panels to regulate the distribution of natural resources. UPA Chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi made it clear to the all ministries that corruption needs to be stopped at all levels. It is important fast-track graft cases in courts, guard whistle-blowers, and bring transparency in the awarding of contracts, otherwise such assurances will remain merely as empty promises.

Some critical steps to be taken soon by the government include appropriate inspection of officials prior to appointments, particularly to significant posts, redistribution on websites the names of officials involved in corruption cases and consent to impeach recognized cases. Further things on the program of the conference include domestic safety, execution of the Gram Sadak Yojana and Drinking Water Mission, performance supervision and delivery and analysis of science & technology projects such as space research.

All these measures were taken after the issue of corruption was raised by the top corporate leaders in India. Most of the corporate leaders agreed that corruption not only hampers the system but it is also affecting the stock market as well. A tough indication from the prime minister reiterating the government’s determining to beat out corruption is expected to reflect attitude across the board. Singh also pointed out that Finland’s procedural model is also under consideration to achieve the goal of a corruption-free country. The road map to confine corruption will likely to come on February 4-5, 2011 at a two-day conference of state chief secretaries in Delhi.

Comment by Dezan Shira & Associates’ Indian Office
Some of the measures which need to be implemented in the system should be to make laws apparent and take away any optional clauses. Clarity of criteria and credential necessary for any clarification needs to be drawn. It will allow decisions to be taken at more levels than only at the senior level. Political intrusion should be minimal in any judgment which can be taken by the officer dealing with that matter. All significant applications requiring numerous levels of sanctions should be numbered and put up on a computer with date of acceptance. All stages of approvals should be time ruled and if deferred the representative concerned should be pulled up. The function should be followed up by somebody from the PMO to guarantee that the file is moving according to the time frame. With clear noting and all accurate records, it would be easy to either acknowledge the proposal or refuse it on obvious reason. Professionals should be selected in technological ministries such as power, environment, finance industry and associated ministries. Resizing of Government departments should be done to cut Government spending.