Govt unveils measures to check bureaucratic corruption

The government has decided to impose a 10% cut in pension in cases of minor penalty and 20% in the case of those compulsorily retired as a major penalty. It has also decided to fast track cases of public servants accused of graft by eliminating certain tiers in consultation process

New Delhi: In a bid to tackle corruption in bureaucracy, the government has decided to impose a 10% cut in pension in cases of minor penalty and 20% in the case of those compulsorily retired as a major penalty, reports PTI.

It has also decided to fast track cases of public servants accused of graft by eliminating certain tiers in consultation process, sources said.

These steps are part of a series of measures accepted by the government for immediate implementation following the recommendations made in the first report of the Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The government’s decision comes in the midst of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign for a Lokpal Bill that would also cover bureaucratic graft.

Until now, a government servant on the verge of retirement can escape proceedings for minor penalty. The GoM has now decided mere superannuation should not be a ground for dropping proceedings for minor penalty.

A cut in pension up to 10% may be imposed in case of minor penalty. This cut will have a ceiling of five years as a life-long reduction in pension would come under the category of major penalty.

The existing major penalty of compulsory retirement with full benefits may be changed to compulsory retirement along with a provision that the competent authority may impose up to 20% cut in pension.

However, there would be no cut in pension in those cases of compulsory retirement of officers being weeded out for non-performance.

One of the steps towards speeding up the inquiry proceedings is to make the departments and ministries to primarily use serving officers as Inquiry and Presenting Officers.

In important cases, they may request the Central Vigilance Commission to appoint their commissioner of Direct Inquiries as IO.

The CVC may also maintain a panel of IOs and POs from among retired officers after screening and empanelment. They could also be engaged on the advice of the CVC.

Taking into account the delays in sanction of prosecution of public servants, the GoM felt that it was imperative that sanction should be decided expeditiously and within the prescribed time-frame of three months.

The GoM has recommended that in all cases where the investigating agency has sought sanction for prosecution and submitted a charge sheet along with it, the competent authority will have to mandatorily take a decision within three months from the receipt of the request and pass a ‘speaking order’ with reasons.

If the permission is refused by the competent authority, the request should go to the next higher authority and if it is the minister and he too refuses he should submit the order within seven days to the prime minister.

The secretary of each ministry and department will monitor all cases where a request has been made for permission to prosecute and submit a certificate every month to the Cabinet secretary to the effect that no case is pending for more than three months. Reasons for pendency of a case for more than three months should be explained.

On the government’s decision to set up 71 special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) courts, of which only 10 are operational, the GoM has decided that the matter of setting up such courts should be taken up actively with the state governments and reviewed on quarterly basis.

It also decided that a committee may be set up for studying cases which have been pending trial for a long time and make recommendations for speedy disposal or withdrawal of such cases.

There are reportedly more than 2,400 corruption cases pending for over 10 years. The GoM decided that these may be reviewed by a committee headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court.

Retired CVC, CBI director and another person of impeccable reputation from civil society could be members of the committee, which would particularly look at cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

On amendment to Art 311 of the Constitution to provide for summary proceedings in cases of grave misdemeanour or acts of blatant corruption by public servants, it was felt that there was need to strike a balance between fundamental rights of individuals and administrative agencies.

The GoM decided that instead of amending the Constitution the remedy against blatant corruption and grave misdemeanour would lie in a strict and effective implementation of existing laws and not framing of new ones.

In cases of misdemeanour, it was decided that the competent authority will decide the matter within three months of receipt of request and it will give a ‘speaking order’ with reasons.

In the event of refusal of permission, the reasons should be put up to the next higher authority for information within one week. For those above the rank of joint secretary, the competent authority will be minister whose reasons for refusal should be put up to the prime minister.

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COMMENTS

a v moorthi

5 years ago

it is often seen that when a inquiry is conducted on receipt of allegations of malafide action of Bank official resulting in financial losses to the Bank , the out come of the investigation carried out by serving officers is a pre decided farce. if the suspected officer is of lower cadre strong punishment is awarded. if the loss is of higher value involving higher the official, the investigation is derailed and official is left with minor penalty. Now coming to the role of CVC it functions similar to a Post Box. It forwards the complaint to the Parent organisation and does no follow up. Since by default it tries to protect the identity of complainant , the complainants complaint statement and further updates are never recorded by the Parent organisation and complaint is given a decent burial. I can quote at least one instance with full detail in a PSB wherein the God father of a scam ( Bank had to write of huge amount ) went on to become CVO of Allahabad Bank, then ED of BOI, CMD of UCO Bank and presently he is heading the largest financial institution connected to infratstructure development in the country. Mr. Srivatsa Krishna IAS had written in TOI in May 2011 about that gentleman style of functioning under "cash and carry"

Suzuki board to decide on Maruti’s Gujarat plant in October

“We will of course need an additional plant, but the timing, when it would be required—in 2014, 2015, 2016—is yet to be worked out. “It would all be depending on how the market behaves,” Maruti chairman RC Bhargava said

Gandhinagar: Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corporation on Thursday said its board will take the decision regarding setting up a manufacturing plant in Gujarat for its Indian arm Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) in October, reports PTI.

Speaking to reporters after meeting the state chief minister Narendra Modi here, SMC chairman Osamu Suzuki said: “Considering all the discussion held with the chief minister, we are planning to take a decision in Maruti Suzuki board and then get it approved in SMC board meeting.”

“... Then we will think (whether) to apply for land or not, this decision will be taken in October end.”

MSI’s manufacturing plants in Gurgaon and Manesar, put together, have production capacity of 1.7 million vehicles.

“The current production and sales volumes is 1.2 million vehicles,” Mr Suzuki said.

“There are 18 auto manufacturers who have come to the Indian market and most of them are bigger than the Suzuki motor company,” he said.

“The key point would be that what is the growth here (in India) thereafter and future growth of the market,” Mr Suzuki said.

During the hour-long meeting with the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, the CM appraised the Maruti delegation of how the state was emerging as a global auto manufacturing hub.

Earlier in May, MSI had said it, along with vendors, could invest up to Rs18,000 crore in Gujarat.

The company is seeking about 500 acres of land from the Gujarat government for its plant, and another 500 acres for its vendors.

The company has already invested in infrastructure at Mundra port in Gujarat from where it exports.

Mr Suzuki was accompanied by MSI chairman RC Bhargava, managing director Shinzo Nakanishi and production head MM Singh in the meeting with Mr Modi.

Mr Bhargava said Suzuki wanted more information about the land and the likely risk factors involved with it.

“All this and whatever further investigations we need to make for the plant will be collected in next few days,” he said, adding that Mr Modi assured full cooperation to the company.

“This was the first meeting between the chief minister and Mr Suzuki and the meeting was very cordial and positive.

The CM has assured full co-operation,” Mr Bhargava said.

He said, “We will of course need an additional plant, but the timing, when it would be required—in 2014, 2015, 2016—is yet to be worked out.”

“It would all be depending on how the market behaves.

Nobody can predict how market would be in next five years from now,” Mr Bhargava said.

“So keeping these uncertainties in mind a view shall be taken,” Mr Bhargava said.

“A decision can only be taken by the board, so it is not possible to tell what site, which place the plant would come up at, till the board takes a decision,” Mr Bhargava said.

“We are looking around, I shall not talk about other states,” he said, replying to a query whether other states were also on company's radar for setting up a new plant.

A delegation from MSI had first met the Gujarat chief minister three months ago and had held preliminary discussions on possibility of setting up a manufacturing plant in the state.

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Bharti gets 2G, 3G licences in Rwanda, to invest $100mn

The company reported to have 46.3 million mobile customers on its network by in Africa in the first quarter which ended on 30 June 2011. The company reported to have earned average revenue per user of $7.3 per month during the quarter

New Delhi: Expanding its footprint in Africa, Bharti Airtel will operate second generation (2G) and third generation (3G) mobile services in Rwanda for which it has announced an investment of $100 million in the next three years, reports PTI.

The company said it has been awarded licences to operate mobile services by the Rwanda government.

“We are pleased to be part of the vision of the government of Rwanda to take telecommunications forward as a priority.

“We will work with the government to bring affordable and best in class mobile services that add value to the lives of people of Rwanda and contribute towards bridging the digital divide in the country,” Sunil Mittal, chairman and managing director, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

Rwanda is amongst the fastest growing telecom markets in Africa. According to the National Statistics Institute of Rwanda, the mobile penetration in the country was 38.4% as of July 2011, the statement said.

“Rwanda is a key telecom market with immense growth potential and will strengthen Bharti Airtel’s footprint in East Africa,” Mr Mittal added.

Airtel already had its presence in 16 countries of Africa which include Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

“We are entering an exciting era in telecommunications in Rwanda, which entails bringing advanced broadband wireless services at more competitive prices and allowing more people in rural areas to access mobile technology,” minister in the president’s office in charge of ICT, Ignace Gatare said.

He welcomed Bharti Airtel to Rwanda and expressed confidence that its experience in operating in emerging markets will add immense value to telecommunications sector in Rwanda.

“This also marks the largest investment out of India into Rwanda and will be invaluable in enhancing the economic co-operation between the two nations,” Mr Gatare said.

Bharti made its entry in to African by acquiring Kuwait based Zain Telecom for about $10.7 billion (Rs48,000 crore approximately).

The company reported to have 46.3 million mobile customers on its network by in Africa in the first quarter which ended on 30 June 2011. During the quarter, the company added 2.1 million customers. The company reported to have earned average revenue per user of $7.3 per month during the quarter.

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