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PM Talks Tough On Corruption; Has Final Say In Lokpal, Anti-graft Measures

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Vowing to rid the country of the "disease" of corruption, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday (19 August) his government will take tough measures to eliminate the menace which is "more dangerous than cancer".

"Corruption is dangerous and spreading more dangerously than cancer. It is destroying the country. Strong steps are needed to eradicate it," he said at a public meeting while inaugurating a highway project in Haryana.

"You tell me if we should take tough measures against it (corruption). I need your blessings. With your blessings, I will rid the country of this disease," said Modi, who was on his maiden visit to the state after becoming Prime Minister.

On a day that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that he is going to be tough on corruption, it was also announced that henceforth the PM will decide on all matters relating to Lokpal, CVC and anti- corruption legislation under newly-formed delegation of powers on works handled by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

The Prime Minister, who is also the Cabinet Minister for the ministry, will have a final say in "major policy issues relating to Right to Information (RTI)" and "constitution of a new all India service".

The Ministry has come out with an "internal delegation of powers for final disposal of cases" dealt by it. A note carrying details of work and final authority for its disposal has been circulated by the Department of Personnel and Training, among the ministry officials.

The matters relating to CBI including grant of permission for filing extradition proceedings, framing of recruitment rules for Group 'A' posts in the agency, deputation of its officers of the rank of DIG and above to other organisations will be disposed at the level of Minister of State, said the note.

The Prime Minister will be deciding on disciplinary cases against Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Central Secretariat Service (CSS) officers, Grade I and above, and Group' A' officers in CBI.

The appeals filed by these officers and cases relating to their sanction for prosecution will be disposed at the level of Prime Minister, it said.

The delegation of powers has no mention of any other administrative work related to the CBI to be dealt by the Prime Minister. The Ministry of Personnel acts as a nodal authority for CBI to facilitate its administrative work.

PM Promises Tough Steps To Rid Country Of Corruption
PM has noted that many people said he did not speak against corruption in his Independence Day speech which, he added, was not true as he had this issue on mind when he spoke about "mera kya (What about me), mujhe kya (It does not concern me)" syndrome in society. This was about corruption, he said.

"This (corruption) has ruined the country... It is more dangerous than cancer. We have to make national mood against it. I sense that people are no longer ready to live with it," he said.

Turning his focus on development, he said the infrastructure of the 20th century would not do in the 21st century as times have changed and "we will have to think ahead".

"Rains come and roads disappear. Nobody knows where money goes.... Only road or rail network will not fulfil the infrastructure need of the 21st century. We have to lay optical fibre cable and connect our villages with gas and water grids," he said.

His government, he said, is striving to meet the aspirations of the new generation.

Stressing that development is the only solution to the problems facing the people, he said, "A nation which gives impetus to infrastructure be it roads, rail or airport, that is where chances of development increase". .

ACB Has No Power In Gas Pricing Case
Meanwhile, The Modi government has limited tegularities in raising price of gas from RIL's KG6 basin. Appearing for the Delhi government and the ACB, senior advocate Vikas Singh told the court that such powers have been taken away from the ACB by a recent notification of the Central government.

"There is a July 23 notification as per which ACB will not have powers to probe (the matter). The notification takes away the jurisdiction of ACB to investigate central government employees in corruption cases. It rather confines (ACB) to employees of Delhi government only," Singh said.

The recent central government notification has amended the November 8, 1993 notification of the Lieutenant Governor, saying it shall be applicable to the officers and employees of that (Delhi) government only.

"This notification shall apply to the officers and employees of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi," the fresh notification reads.

(Agencies)
 


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