Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan launched software for online filing of annual property statements of Government employees here on Thursday.

The information will be available to the public through the Internet. Kerala is the first State in the country to launch such a system.

Initially, the facility for online filing will be available to the employees of General Administration, Finance and Law departments. It will be extended to other departments in phases. The employees are required to file returns on their movable and immovable properties.

The Thiruvananthapuram unit of the National Informatics Centre developed the software. Inaugurating the system, the Chief Minister said the system would be effective only if there was proper accounting of incomes and assets. There were people who had benami property holdings and company shares in the names of their family members. "People are flabbergasted by press reports about the wealth amassed by some higher officials in the names of their wives and children. They too had submitted their returns. So, the electronic filing and recording system alone would not suffice to eliminate corruption. The people should be keeping an eye on the rulers and officials."

He said that the Government was taking stringent steps to eliminate corruption from the civil service.