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June 24, 2019 |

Cut corrupt to size

The message sent out by the Governor Administration regarding the corruption and nepotism in state institutions recently is lucid and plain. What makes it more conspicuous is the fact that while similar exercises were promised and initiated by previous governments, the action never started from the top order. For instance the PDP-BJP government when it was led by former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed promised decisive action against the corrupt officials (also termed as deadwood). But it didn’t last long and failed to fix the responsibility in the top order or high-rung officials. Those who were axed were mostly middle and lower rung officials. This time around some traction has been achieved and unless the administration sustains it the grip over graft cases may be lost.  Graft in public offices is not new phenomena. It was and still continues to be the symbol of most South Asian countries. Kashmir being a part of it is in no way behind in following the unholy trend in government offices and public institutions. Corruption and nepotism have been two working principles in most public-dealing offices. There have been numerous cases reported where one reads of an officer, a clerk, a policeman 'caught' while accepting bribe. However what surprises a common reader and an unsuspecting person is the brazenness with which the acts are being endorsed in government offices. Officials who take bribes seem to be quite adamant about the perception that 'chai' is their birth right. To bring some semblance to the arduous affairs of getting a job done in a public office, the state government implemented the Public Service Guarantee Act (PSGA) in the state. Token publicity in newspaper adverts seem to have done little in even making the law intelligible to the masses. Expecting this 'revolutionary' Act to reinstate the faith of a common man in a fair deal in an office is a far-fetched fantasy. Although new in the basket of promising Acts, the PSGA has met the same fate that others related to checking graft have. It has been years since RTI Act was implemented in J&K, but how it has helped in curbing corruption and bringing transparency is doubtable. Despite being in their implementation mode RTI or PSGA remain concealed under wraps of ambiguity, uncertainty, red tape and obduracy of officials, their associates and agents. An example may not be set at the bottom, but if stern action is taken at top order the state may witness a positive change.    

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June 24, 2019 |

Cut corrupt to size

              

The message sent out by the Governor Administration regarding the corruption and nepotism in state institutions recently is lucid and plain. What makes it more conspicuous is the fact that while similar exercises were promised and initiated by previous governments, the action never started from the top order. For instance the PDP-BJP government when it was led by former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed promised decisive action against the corrupt officials (also termed as deadwood). But it didn’t last long and failed to fix the responsibility in the top order or high-rung officials. Those who were axed were mostly middle and lower rung officials. This time around some traction has been achieved and unless the administration sustains it the grip over graft cases may be lost.  Graft in public offices is not new phenomena. It was and still continues to be the symbol of most South Asian countries. Kashmir being a part of it is in no way behind in following the unholy trend in government offices and public institutions. Corruption and nepotism have been two working principles in most public-dealing offices. There have been numerous cases reported where one reads of an officer, a clerk, a policeman 'caught' while accepting bribe. However what surprises a common reader and an unsuspecting person is the brazenness with which the acts are being endorsed in government offices. Officials who take bribes seem to be quite adamant about the perception that 'chai' is their birth right. To bring some semblance to the arduous affairs of getting a job done in a public office, the state government implemented the Public Service Guarantee Act (PSGA) in the state. Token publicity in newspaper adverts seem to have done little in even making the law intelligible to the masses. Expecting this 'revolutionary' Act to reinstate the faith of a common man in a fair deal in an office is a far-fetched fantasy. Although new in the basket of promising Acts, the PSGA has met the same fate that others related to checking graft have. It has been years since RTI Act was implemented in J&K, but how it has helped in curbing corruption and bringing transparency is doubtable. Despite being in their implementation mode RTI or PSGA remain concealed under wraps of ambiguity, uncertainty, red tape and obduracy of officials, their associates and agents. An example may not be set at the bottom, but if stern action is taken at top order the state may witness a positive change.    

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