Corruption has become a blood disease: Lokayukta

Advocating zero tolerance to corruption, Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin on Tuesday said corruption in any level, indirectly or directly, affects the common man, who ends up paying more due to the greed of a few.

“Corruption has become a blood disease and has affected the blood stream of the public. When we talk about the coal scam of Rs 1.84 lakh crore or the 2G scam of Rs 1.76 lakh crore, corruption is not limited at just the top level. The virus of corruption has entered into the blood stream of every citizen,” said Justice Sarin while addressing a workshop on ‘Integrity in Procurement and Whistleblower Protection in India’.

It was organised by Transparency International India.
Justice Sarin said it is needed to understand that corruption at any level indirectly or directly affects the public. “Corruption in procurement in public sector units ultimately compels the end user, the common people to pay more,” said Justice Sarin, suggesting remedies to corruption.

He said there is a need to encourage rules and honesty in public life. “We as a society need to reward honest people. Someone has to encourage them to keep doing the good work,” he said.

He said there must be a process through which based on the doctrine of ‘name and shame’, public functionaries should be exposed in their constituency even if they no longer hold the post concerned.

The Delhi Lokayukta has repeatedly advocated this policy in the cases of some municipal councillors found guilty by him. But the authorities concerned did not feel the need since these people were no longer in office.

Earlier, Central Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar said speed and urgency provided an opportunity for corruption in procurements. For example, the Commonwealth Games 2010.

Kumar welcomed the draft Public Procurement Bill, which has detailed regulations to guide public procurement.

 “Procurement in the public sector is required to accord high priority to accountability, transparency and integrity,” said Kumar.  

“It has to be fair to all potential participants. But despite being such a regulated activity, public procurement is also the government’s activity, considered the world over, to provide the greatest scope for corruption,” said Kumar.

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