6 Sep 2010

Draft National Anti-Corruption Strategy unveiled

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), in its move towards making India a corruption free society had been working for long over formulation of a National Anti-Corruption Strategy. In this direction, taking the assistance and advice of various experts in the field, the CVC has formulated the Draft National Anti-Corruption Strategy and has released it in public domain from all cross-sections of the society in order to ensure that no stone is left unturned. 

The fifty-page document is divided into eight substantive chapters which are directed towards ensuring that corruption, which permeates the order of the day today, is weeded out from the social ranks and interaction. These chapters, just to give a brief over view, are as under;
I. Corruption in India
II. Legal and Regulatory framework for fighting corruption
III. Strategy to address political and administrative corruption
IV. Strengthening institutions to effectively combat corruption
V. International Cooperation
VI. Role of the private sector in combating corruption
VII. Social Infrastructure for fighting corruption
VIII. Role of citizens in anti-corruption
Chapter 1 (Corruption in India) reflects upon the State of Corruption in India and its various forms, its impact and the need of the hour to justify and explain the formulation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy while enunciating its vision, mission, objectives and approach.

Chapter 2 (Legal and Regulatory framework for fighting corruption) deals with the existing laws and regulations to deal with the issue of Corruption to make out a case inter alia for Review of existing structure of the regulatory regime and revisit specific administrative policies in the quest for making India a corruption free State.

Chapter 3 (Strategy to address political and administrative corruption) deals with political and administrative, in particular highlighting the Inaccessible, Non Responsive, Cumbersome systems and the issue of Political Finance & Electoral Funding to reflect upon the sad order of the day. The recommendations laid out therein, provide an effective check on these unwarranted practices and in our view are required to be adhered upon in its full vigour and spirit.

Chapter 4 (Strengthening institutions to effectively combat corruption) inter alia reflects upon formulation of a National Judicial Council and Regular Integrity Checks to ensure corruption free judiciary, increasing the role of institutions such as the Central Vigilance Commission, Central Bureau of Investigation, Comptroller and Auditor General, National Crime Records Bureau, State Anti Corruption Agencies, Ombudsman Institutions etc. in order to create an environment for a Systematic Reform across public institutions for controlling corruption.

Chapter 5 (International Cooperation) takes cue from the international experience in this field as reflected by the work of UNCAC and ADB-OECD Anti Corruption Initiative for Asia and Pacific, Financial Action Taskforce on Money Laundering, Global Organization of Parliamentarians against Corruption, etc. and the possibility of integration by creating a roadmap for Enhancing International Cooperation. 

Chapter 6 reflects upon the 'Role of the private sector in combating corruption' by  introduction of Corporate Governance Measures, Integrity Pacts/ Code of Ethics, Creating a Culture of Trust, Dealing with Large and Small Payments, Commercial Bribery, etc.

Chapter 7 harnesses upon the need to create a 'Social Infrastructure for fighting corruption'. The fullest utilization of Right to Information Act, Social Audit, Citizens’ Charters, Integrity Pact, etc. and ensuring accountability of Panchayati Raj Institutions, providing for collaborative efforts with the government, etc. are highlighted as one of the key ingredients to attack corruption at all levels and in every form.

Chapter 8 thereon highlights the 'Role of citizens in anti-corruption' by reflecting upon the role they play in ensuring that corruption breeding practices are weeded out.

While the attempt to create a consolidated guidelines in this regard is indeed an appreciable one, we would nonetheless request our readers to actively take note of the draft document and send in their comments (by 25th September, 2010) in as much in our view this forms one key issues which the Indian society needs to address in a head-on manner so as to raise the standards of morality and conduct in society. 

The Draft National Anti-Corruption Strategy is available on the CVC website while a summary of the same is also provided.

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