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Updated: September 14, 2011 01:46 IST

Show zero tolerance of corruption, PM tells officials

J Balaji
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the National Workshop on Appropriate Development Strategies for Effective Implementation of Rural Development Schemes in IAP Districts, in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the National Workshop on Appropriate Development Strategies for Effective Implementation of Rural Development Schemes in IAP Districts, in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday wanted government officials to have “zero tolerance of corruption.” They should ensure that development works reached the grass roots through efficient implementation of government programmes.

The officials should learn from non-governmental organisations such as the Ramakrishna Mission which had done yeoman service to the people in underdeveloped areas.

Dr. Singh said: “As administrators, we must have zero tolerance of corruption. We must demolish the invisible wall between ‘us' and ‘them' [people]. The livelihoods we promote must be sustainable on the ground and not on paper alone. They must be suited to the local milieu and attuned to the local aspirations.”

The Prime Minister was speaking at a national workshop on “Appropriate development strategies for effective implementation of schemes of rural development in Integrated Action Plan (IAP) districts” here.

Referring to the Naxal menace, he said a “practical and pragmatic” approach should be made to develop Naxal belts. Monitoring should take care of any wrongdoing in the process of development. He emphasised the need for winning the “trust of the people” in Maoist areas and said the lessons learnt from the grass roots should be the key elements in the 12th Five-Year Plan.

“… the struggle to give a modicum of security to those who are engaged in development process in these difficult [Naxal-hit] areas must go hand in hand with emphasis on development as traditionally understood.”

Lack of development would lead to frustration and a sense of alienation among the inhabitants leading to lack of trust. “The sense of alienation is to be converted into a sense of belonging.”

For alienation to be converted into a sense of belongingness, the government's programmes must ensure that the people in the Naxal areas had an equitable share in the prosperity a rapidly growing Indian economy was bound to bring.

The Prime Minister, who was addressing Collectors and officials of 60 Naxal-affected districts, stressed “inbuilt flexibility” in the implementation of the IAP so that field officers could overcome challenges peculiar to a district.

“Our programmes must be sensitised to include different needs of the people.”

On security threats in the Naxal areas, where even a post office or a bank branch could not be established, Dr. Singh said: “Maybe, we should experiment with the use of police stations — the ground floor can be the police station, the first floor can be the bank and similar activities [can be taken up].”

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh asked the Home Ministry to provide CRPF security for development works in some of the “hardcore” Maoist-hit areas.

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100 percent corruption free society is not possible. I.A.S means I am safe. such service has become difficult to do the public. still there are vast different variation in financial levels. A government officer cannot discharge his duties now days sincerely because the administration has gone into the fold of political gamblers. try to reduce corruption at higher level. See that the agencies cbi ,acb lokayukta, lokpal etc may not be misused by political authorities to involve officers in corruption cases byforce in any way or by cast feeling days red tapism is reduced, but localisation of administration going out of rules at their accord to the tuning of local political people who are in power or mussel power. even if case comes that can be dropped by their political bosses at capital.TO AVOID THIS transfers FAR AWAY FOR all staff including attenders to highest officer are to be made compulsory .

from:  K Satyanarayana
Posted on: Sep 18, 2011 at 08:35 IST

The PM should be congratulated for saying “As administrators, we must have zero tolerance of corruption." - a fitting follow up to the President's clarion call on 14.8.11: "Corruption is a cancer affecting our nation's political, economic, cultural and social life. It is necessary to eliminate it. Government, Parliament, Judiciary and society at large, should ponder about this, and find out ways to handle it in a manner that is practical, implementable and sustainable." (Official website).
However, if the above policy is only limited to the "Naxal belts", ht it send an unintended wrong message, that the above policy only came about because of the use of Maoist methods (alluded to above)? Why not reap even greater dividend, grasp the nettle, extend the policy to the entire nation, and win the “trust of the people” of the whole country? Why delay declaring good news? "Carpe diem"! "Vita brevis"! "And if not now, when?"

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Sep 14, 2011 at 19:04 IST

If the PM had practised what he is preaching now, ministers in his cabinet and CWG officials could not have indulged in corrupt practices over a protracted period of time. By the way, was the PM sending the right message on corruption to the officers of the government,when a respected anti-corruption crusader leading a peaceful agitation was arrested and sent to judicial custody? Will the PM tell the country why there is a deafening silence on the ISRO matter? Is it also an indication of the zero tolerance of corruption?

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Sep 14, 2011 at 16:30 IST

The words from the PM are fruitful to hear but can we see the real implementation by him & his Council of Ministers? After sometime our PM will say " We dont have a magical stick" to control corruption as he said in terms of inflation.

from:  Soumya Havaldar
Posted on: Sep 14, 2011 at 14:57 IST

The P M should ensure corruption-free environment for officers to act boldly and take initiative.Like gravity,corruption flows down from above and unless political leadership is rid of the malaise, we cannot succeed in combating corruption.

from:  S V Venkatakrishnan
Posted on: Sep 14, 2011 at 08:38 IST

Zero corruption everywhere is what we should be aiming for!

from:  Ashwin
Posted on: Sep 14, 2011 at 00:04 IST

Manmohan Singh, how about "zero tolerance for corruption” in all the central ministries?

from:  Ankit
Posted on: Sep 13, 2011 at 23:59 IST
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