No dearth of political will, officers should act against corrupt, however powerful, without hesitation: Narendra Modi
NEW DELHI: There is no dearth of political will today to act against corruption and officers should take action against the corrupt, however powerful, without any hesitation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.
Addressing a gathering at the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the prime minister said corruption is the biggest roadblock to democracy and justice and the agency’s key responsibility is to free India from it.
It is the desire of the people of the country that no corrupt should be spared, he said.
He said those who benefitted from corruption for decades have created an ecosystem which attacks the probe agencies. But the agencies should not to be deterred by stories about power of the corrupt and their ecosystem to tarnish them.
“These people will keep distracting you, but you have to focus on your work. No corrupt person should be spared. There should be no laxity in our efforts. This is the wish of the country, this is the wish of the people of the country. The country, law and constitution are with you,” the prime minister said.
“Today there is no dearth of political will to take action against corruption in the country,” Modi said and asked officers to take action against the corrupt, however powerful, without any hesitation.
Referring to international transactions and the movement of people, goods and services on a large scale even outside geographical boundaries, Modi said that India’s economic power is growing while those who create obstacles are also rising.
He warned that attacks on India’s social fabric, its unity and brotherhood, its economic interests and institutions will also increase.
“Corruption money will be spent on this,” he said as he stressed the need to understand and study the multinational nature of crime and corruption.
Modi said India got a legacy of corruption at the time of Independence and lamented the fact that instead of removing it, some people kept nourishing this malady.
He said that while a discussion on trillion dollars refers to strong economy these days, a decade ago when the CBI celebrated its golden jubilee such figures were used to describe scams in the country.
“There was a competition going on who will set a new record of corruption,” he said, adding the scams and the prevailing sense of impunity led to the destruction of the system and an atmosphere of policy paralysis brought development to a standstill.
He said that while Internet banking and UPI stand in stark contrast to the earlier “phone banking” malaise where loans worth thousands of crores of rupees were sanctioned on the basis of phone calls from influential people.
The beneficiaries scooted away with the public money, the prime minister said. He said the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act has so far enabled the confiscation of Rs 20,000 crore worth of properties of fugitive offenders.
Modi said the corrupt would even go to the extent of looting the aid given to beneficiaries of government schemes, be it rations, homes, scholarships or pensions, and the original beneficiary would feel conned every time.
“Even a prime minister once said that for every rupee sent out to the poor, only 15 paisa reache them,” he said.
Modi said the beneficiaries of government schemes are now getting their full entitlement with the trinity of Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile where more than eight crore fake beneficiaries have been removed from the system.
“Due to DBT (direct benefit transfer), about 2.25 lakh crore rupees of the country have been saved from going into the wrong hands,” he said.
The prime minister said it was the resolve of his government after assuming office in 2014 to launch a crackdown on corruption and benami properties and it started on a mission mode to act against these evils.
He asked the CBI to device ways to fast track its investigations against the corrupt because a languishing probe gives a sense of safety to the corrupt while innocent keep suffering.
The prime minister said even today, when a case remains unsolved, there are demands it should be handed over to the CBI.
The CBI has given faith to people through its work and techniques, he said.
“CBI’s name is on everyone’s lips. It is like a brand for truth and justice. Even at panchayat level if some important crime comes, people want it to be referred to the CBI,” he said.
The CBI was established by a resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs on April 1, 1963.
Modi said wherever there is corruption, the youths don’t get equal opportunities and just one special eco-system gets emboldened.
Terming the corruption as the biggest enemy of merit, he said corruption gives encouragement to the nepotism and dynastic rule.
When nepotism and dynastic rule increase, the country’s strength gets affected and when the country’s strength gets weakened, it affects development, he said.
“Corruption is not just a small crime. It snatches the rights of the poor and that lead to birth of many criminals,” he said.
During the programme, an investiture ceremony for recipients of the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service and Gold Medal for Best Investigating Officers of CBI was held and the prime minister conferred the medals.
He also inaugurated the newly constructed office complexes of CBI in Shillong, Pune and Nagpur, released a postage stamp and commemorative coin, and launched the Twitter handle of the CBI.
Union Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and CBI Director Subodh Kumar Jaiswal were present on the occasion.
Source: Press Trust of India