Let us redouble our efforts and address corruption on a war-footing” : Pranab Mukherjee
INVC, Delhi, The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a Seminar on ‘Combating Corruption – Role of Accountability Institutions, Investigating Agencies, Civil Society and Media’ organized today (February 11, 2014) in New Delhi on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). Speaking on the occasion, the President said “Let us redouble our efforts and address corruption on a war-footing”. He said the fact that corruption has proved to be intractable should not make us lose confidence in our abilities to address this problem. The CVC must re-energise itself and pro-actively lead the charge against corruption. It must expeditiously investigate all allegations of corruption without fear or favour. It must, at the same time ensure that vilification campaigns to destroy reputations and careers are not carried out in the name of checking corruption. The President said the CVC should be an ally to good governance and facilitate speedy, responsible and bold decision making in the interests of the country. Members of the CVC and its staff must also set an example by maintaining the highest standards of probity in the discharge of their functions. The President said while there has been no let up in our national efforts to root out corruption, we have to acknowledge our limited success in this regard. Corruption remains a major stumbling block in the progress of our nation. It has increased transaction costs, reduced efficiency of public services, distorted decision making processes and undermined the moral fibre of our society. Corruption has reinforced inequities and limited access to public services by the common man, especially the poor. The President said we have all been witness to the huge public outcry over corruption in recent times. “The air is thick with despair and cynicism. There is urgent need to restore the faith of our people in our governance system and the credibility of our institutions”. He said large number opinion polls and surveys reveal that corruption is among the foremost concerns of our citizens. We must engage in serious introspection on how both, ‘petty’ corruption which affects the public at large and ‘grand’ corruption involving the higher echelons of government can be eliminated. Civil society and media, especially the ‘new’ media, can be initiators of positive change as well as force multipliers in this regard. The President called upon the CVC to lead the way in cleansing Government and contribute to reversing the cynicism of public towards Government functionaries. A Coffee Table Book was released and first copy presented to the President by the Prime Minister on the occasion. A commemorative Postage Stamp was also released. Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India; Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology and Law and Justice; Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha; Shri V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office and Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Shri Pradeep Kumar, Central Vigilance Commissioner.