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A political bureaucracy must for weeding out corruption: Azad

Written by: Staff

Jammu, Mar 21: Laying emphasis to keep administration free of politics at all levels, the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the politicization of bureaucracy was the root cause of corruption and other evils in society.

In a discussion on the grants in the Assembly last night, Mr Azad exhorted the government functionaries to be away from all sorts of political interference and said that the representatives should avoid depending upon them.

Reiterating his determination to weed out corruption from the administration, Mr Azad said honest, dedicated and efficient officers right from block level to the top bureaucracy would be rewarded by giving key positions.

Five honest, outstanding and performing officers would be awarded Chief Minister's gold medal on Independence day, he said. Tainted officers are on the watch list and their dossier are being compiled, he added. ''I receive about 20 letters on an average daily where misdeeds of the functionaries alongwith proofs are communicated to me. I myself take cognizance of the facts and read the contents thoroughly,'' he informed.

Mr Azad asserted that honesty should percolate from top and they should be role models of honesty for the entire society. He said awareness about the Right To Information Act would give considerable boost in creating a healthy and conducive atmosphere to curb the menace of corruption.

In this connection, seminars at tehsil and district headquarters would be organised in which legislators and ministers would also participate to disseminate the message that people have the right to get any information about any development activities or working of the Government.

Referring to the human rights situation in the state, he said his directions to security agencies to hold interrogation jointly by involving local police have started giving encouraging results.

Chief Minister said the high level officers' committee of state and Union home departments would meet tomorrow to finalise the list of detainees who are not involved in heinous crimes and serious charges so that their release, on the instructions of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, is decided BY March 31.

During the last 16 years, 809 police personnel had sacrificed their lives while fighting militancy. Each deceased police personnel's family receives Rs 11 lac of ex-gratia in total under various schemes while as his children get special scholarships, Mr Azad informed. Special Police Officers (SPO) receive small honorarium of Rs, 1500 each and are not covered under many other schemes. Around 416 SPOs had been killed while fighting militancy during the last 10 years. Mr Azad recommended enhancement of their honorarium from Rs 1500 to Rs 5000 to the Union Home Ministry and also asked the Director General of Police of the state to bring them under full medical cover amd other facilities .

Referring to the unemployment problem, Mr Azad said Government was taking all efforts to create employment opportunities but it could not alone absorb entire unemployed population in Government jobs.

The economic activities in Tourism, Industries, Agriculture, Railways, Power and other such sectors are being generated in a big way to absorb thousands of job seekers.

He said cell services like BSNL, Airtel, Aircell and others had provided jobs to about 33,000 youth during the past few years.

Mr Azad said he had asked the IT Minister to explore new avenues under this sector for the youth so that a good number of qualified unemployees got properly absorbed in this sector. He said initiatives were being introduced to make self employment scheme more purposeful, viable and job-oriented but at the same time regretted that banks were not coming up to the mark as far as the financing of such schemes was concerned.

''I am interacting with the management of State Bank of India and Jammu and Kashmir Bank asking them to improve their performance on this front, at the same time, suggesting them to become partners in the establishment of ventures by unemployed youth and create a new system of industrial growth where both loanee and lender have equal interests,'' he added.

Mr Azad said Wazir Commission's recommendations which formed part of the Common Minimum Programme of the state government, would be implemented soon. However, there was a need to create more districts in Kashmir valley and other parts of the state. These demands would be taken into account while implementing the report.


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