With increasing instances of civil servants being found with slush funds, Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar has told the bureaucrats to implement the policy of zero tolerance for corruption “fully and effectively”.
Chandrasekhar has written to the top bureaucracy — secretaries of central departments and chief secretaries of states — to strengthen preventive vigilance and introduce transparency “in decision-making and in all our systems”.
“Stringent action must be taken against officers found guilty. Disciplinary proceedings must be expedited,” he said.
“It is important that we ponder over the manner in which we discharge our duties and fulfil our responsibilities and what we need to do to refurbish our image,” he said, after pointing to “some disturbing incidents which call for serious introspection by civil servants”.
The Madhya Pradesh government last month suspended an IAS officer — the second in February — following Income Tax raids at his Bhopal house.
This is the first time that the cabinet secretary has sought to send a public message to the bureaucracy to get its act together and push transparency.
But right to information activists argue Chandrashekhar’s push for transparency runs contrary to attempts by the Centre to dilute provisions of the information law. The government was considering amendments to avoid frivolous requests and modify the provision about disclosure of cabinet papers, both aimed at blocking transparency.