Manmohan Singh calls on officials to act swiftly against corruption

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New Delhi, Aug 26 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and state Anti-Corruption Bureau officials to act swiftly and without fear against corruption.

Addressing the biennial conference of the CBI and State Anti Corruption Bureau officials here on Wednesday, Singh said officials should try to wipe out the general psyche in the mind of the public that the big fish escape from the net of the law.

He said corruption at the higher level should be hunted aggressively.

Singh said there was no single remedy for fighting corruption, and added that it has to be combated at many levels.

He suggested making the existing systems less discretionary so that the fight against corruption will be stimulated.

"High-level corruption should be pursued aggressively. There is a pervasive feeling that while petty cases get tackled quickly, the big fish escape punishment. This has to change," Singh said.

Singh said though the quick investigation was important and necessary, it was not sufficient to bring the guilty to book.

"Trials should be conducted expeditiously and judgments delivered quickly. To begin with the aim should be to conclude the trial in two years so that punishment could be given to the offenders within a period of three years or so," Singh said.

Singh informed the conference that the government has decided to set up new 71 CBI courts and urged these new courts to function as model courts by avoiding unnecessary adjournments.

He said though the world respects Indian democracy, its plural and secular values, independent judiciary, free press, and its pursuit of equitable and inclusive growth, but corruption tarnishing all these images.

"But pervasive corruption in our country tarnishes our image. It also discourages investors, who expect fair treatment and transparent dealings. As the country grows and integrates with the world economy, corruption continues to be an impediment to harnessing the best technology and resources," he said

He expressed concern over delay in implementing pro people projects due to corruption and said that corruption distorts the rule of law and weakens institutions of governance.

"Important projects, which have huge externalities for growth, do not get implemented in time, and when they do get finished, they are often of a poor quality. Inflated project costs consume scarce national resources, which could have been better used in other important areas in the service of our people. The poor are disproportionately hurt because of corruption, Singh said.

Calling the officials to fight effectively and decisively in the war against corruption, Singh asked the officials to have a clear focus on the corruption prone areas.

"...systemic improvement is a long term goal, one cannot wait for it to happen. Our anti corruption agencies must make the cost of corruption unacceptably high for those indulging in this evil practice. There should be clear focus on corruption prone areas and individuals so that the available national resources for anti corruption efforts are not dissipated," Singh said.

Singh presented the President's Police Medals for meritorious services for the best investigating officers.

Singh assured the officials that the government is working to implement the recommendations of the second administrative reforms commission to make the administrative set more transparent. (ANI)

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