Team Anna, govt set for another face-off
Social activist Anna Hazare’s team on Monday set the tone for a third round of confrontation with the government this year by insisting on the inclusion of lower bureaucracy in the lokpal’s ambit. HT reports.delhi Updated: Dec 06, 2011 01:12 IST
Social activist Anna Hazare’s team on Monday set the tone for a third round of confrontation with the government this year by insisting on the inclusion of lower bureaucracy in the lokpal’s ambit.
Team Anna criticised both the government’s bill and that of Aruna Roy-led National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), saying all sections of employees and politicians collude with each other and there should be one agency to cover the whole bureaucracy.
“They don’t indulge in corruption separately,” Team Anna said in a statement, rejecting the government’s proposal of covering lower bureaucracy under the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the NCPRI model of the local police first investigating the case and not the lokpal.
Insisting on inclusion of lower bureaucracy under the purview of the lokpal, Team Anna said inspectors accused of corruption were Group C employees. In states, maximum corruption takes place at the level of Group C employees, it alleged.
“Almost R30,000 crore worth of ration meant for poor people is annually siphoned off by Group C employees. Thousands of crores of leakage takes place in NREGA works at the level of Group C employees…Huge amount of corruption takes place in panchayat works,” the statement said.
Countering the government's argument that bringing the entire bureaucracy under lokpal would make it dysfunctional, it said if one goes by international standards, India needs 28,500 anti-corruption staff members in CVC to check corruption of 57 lakh employees.
“The CVC has a staff strength of 230 employees. Does the government plan to provide 28,500 additional workforce to them?...If that argument is accepted, then won’t CVC become unwieldy?” Team Anna asked.Meanwhile, Team Anna has also invited leaders of all political parties for an open debate on the lokpal bill on December 11 at Jantar Mantar, where Anna Hazare plans to sit on a day-long fast. A spokesperson said formal invites are being sent to all parties.