Chandigarh, Dec 31 (IANS) This surely must take the cake! Senior officers in Haryana have been asked to identify five potential areas of corruption that may exist under their very own noses.
“The ultimate goal is to prevent corruption by use of technology and minimizing the discretion process,” Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar told senior officers at a meeting, the first of its kind on eradicating corruption, here this week.
As per Khattar’s plan, secretaries of various departments have been asked to constitute teams which would go directly to the public to ascertain potential areas of corruption and provide feedback.
“The idea is good to begin with. But it remains to be seen how this is actually implemented and followed up. Otherwise, it will end up as another ritual,” a senior IAS officer told IANS here, requesting anonymity.
Not many in the state, including bureaucrats, are ready to accept that anything big is going to happen with Khattar’s latest directions and his oft-repeated chant on his government’s “zero tolerance” of corruption.
“Many of the officers who were close to the political masters in the previous Congress government continue to hold important posts. Some of them were directly responsible for controversial and shady land deals, doling out CLUs (change of land use licences) and other dealings which smacked of corruption. They continue to wield power and influence even in the BJP government led by Khattar,” said the officer, who is known to be upright.
Several decisions of the Congress government (2005-2014) led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda, especially in land deals and CLUs, are being investigated by commissions and other forums under the Khattar government.
These include the controversial multi-crore rupee land deal of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s company with realty giant DLF and other concessions extended to him and others close to the then Congress dispensation.
“Let them investigate. There has been no wrong doing. Everything was done as per rules. Nothing will come out,” a confident Hooda told IANS.
As per the plans of the Khattar government, it has been made mandatory for all departments, boards and corporations to make all their payments through Real-Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) instead of cheques.
“No department, board or corporation would be allowed to open more than two bank accounts, except in special circumstances and with the prior approval of the minister concerned for the third account and with the permission of the chief minister for the fourth account,” it was decided at the meeting.
Khattar told the officers that a system be put in place for collecting all payments above Rs 1,000 in departments, boards and corporations for various services only through cheques to prevent embezzlement.
(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at email@example.com)