The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) organised a two-day interactive seminar to improve the vigilance mechanisms and to make them more responsive, transparent, efficient and robust.
The seminar 'Transparent and Robust Vigilance Mechanism' was attended by senior officials of CBEC, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and CBI. "There is a continued need for being vigilant and diligent as the stakes are high and it has a direct bearing on the economic health of the nation and of the billions of people. Hence there is a need for 'zero tolerance' for corruption in the department," said Praveen Mahajan, chairperson, CBEC. She highlighted the measures taken by the CBEC to make it a simple, transparent and "non-adversarial tax administration".
"There are stringent anti-corruption laws but they can be significant only when they are reflected in our attitude and approach," she added. Speaking on the occasion, JM Garg, Vigilance Commissioner, CVC, emphasised that there is a need to reduce the negative connotations of vigilance.
"For this there is an urgent need to promote preventive, predictive and pro-active vigilance so that offenders are caught before commission of offence. The delay in vigilance proceedings should be avoided," Garg added. CBI director AP Singh expressed concern over falling rank of India in the Transparency International Index.
"Bonafide decisions should not be pursued from vigilance angle, as one gets wiser on hindsight. Transparency can be enhanced by introducing e-tendering, putting all information on the websites, disclosure of information, etc. There is a need for expeditious disposal of vigilance cases," he said.
Wajahat Habibullah, chairman of National Commission for Minorities spoke at length about relevance of RTI in improving the in-house system of department and containing the menace of corruption.