Highest standards of integrity should be set: PM to babus

Govt to ratify UN convention on graft

Addressing a Civil Services Day function here, Dr Manmohan Singh remarked: “there is a growing feeling in the people that our laws, systems and procedures are not effective in dealing with corruption. We must recognize that there is little public tolerance now for the prevailing state of affairs. People expect swift and exemplary action and rightly so”.

Singh said corruption was an impediment to faster growth, and hurts the poor most. “Our aim is to strengthen the legislative framework, revamp administrative practices and procedures and fast track a systemic response to fighting corruption”.

He said a Group of Ministers is looking into the legal and administrative measures against corruption. “The group has a wide ranging mandate and I expect its recommendations to be available very soon. A committee of Ministers and representatives of civil society is at work to finalize the draft of a Lokpal bill, which we hope to be able to introduce during the monsoon session of Parliament”.

Hoping to see renewed energy from each one of them in the fight against corruption, he told IFS, IAS, IPS officers and senior officials, "I expect you to be honest and fearless in advising your superior authorities, especially the political leadership.

Two Bills relating to judicial accountability and protection of whistle blowers have already been introduced in Parliament, the PM noted. “We will soon ratify the United Nations Convention on Corruption. We are committed to bringing more transparency in public procurement and to ensuring that disinvestment of public utilities and allocation of public resources are done in a manner that best safeguards the interests of the asset-owning public”.

Congratulating the officers who  received the PM’s award for excellence, Singh said the core of the civil services is sound and rooted in values of integrity and fair play. “It is a pity that instances of individual waywardness, of lack of moral courage, and of surrender to pressures and temptations, tarnish the image of the civil services and lead to immense criticism and dissatisfaction. I believe it is only upto the civil services as a whole to set the highest standards of probity and integrity in public and personal life and to create an atmosphere and a work ethic which encourages honesty and integrity,” the Prime Minister said.

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