'Corruption a war that has to be fought on all fronts' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Corruption a war that has to be fought on all fronts'

delhi Updated: Sep 30, 2011 00:41 IST
HT Correspondent

Admitting there were issues of slackness in implementing laws and problems of coordination, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee called for a concerted war against the menace of "widespread and deep-rooted" corruption.

Mukherjee said India was close to achieving "near zero tolerance" towards corruption and asked private players as well as civil society to shoulder their responsibility.

"Corruption is widespread and deep-rooted in our society ...Corruption is a war that has to be fought on all fronts and in a concerted and coordinated manner by all stakeholders," he said at the 2-day conference of the ADB-OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and Pacific.

The conference, hosted by the department of personnel, was attended by 78 international experts from 28 countries from the Asia Pacific region apart from 100 vigilance and anti-corruption sleuths from across the country.

Mukherjee - who also heads the group of ministers on corruption - listed various wings of the government tasked to check corruption but added this didn't mean corruption wasn't a problem.

"There are issues of slackness in implementation of existing laws, ineffectiveness of some laws, lack of coordination between different agencies that have overlapping mandates, policy gaps such as in the area of election funding and governance failure in several areas of public services delivery that have contributed to the pervasiveness of this phenomenon," he said.

Minister of state for personnel, V Narayanasamy said the conference had reinforced the increasing recognition that corruption harms everyone, particularly the weaker sections of the society and, therefore, all societal organs - governments, corporates, small and medium scale enterprises and the civil society - had a role to play in tackling it.

Anna trains guns on govt in his blog
Social activist Anna Hazare has now taken on the government in cyberspace.

On Thursday, the day after he became a netizen, Hazare, in his blog, criticised the government's decision to send ministers for mediation during his 13-day fast in August without vetting them for cleanness. Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who is allegedly involved in the Adarsh scam, was among those involved in the mediation.

It was the "responsibility of the government" to scrutinise the people sent for negotiations and see whether they were corrupt or clean, Hazare wrote.

His statements were a response to questions being raised on why he did not oppose Deshmukh's mediation. According to Anna, during his fast, different people - middlemen and ministers - came to talk to Team Anna. "I came to understand some government agents tried to propagate and create an image that it was the handiwork of their favourite ministers that I gave up my fast," he also wrote.