SRINAGAR: While moving the J&K Reorganization Bill 2019 on August 5, 2019, Union Home Minister Amit Shah in his historical speech in Rajya Sabha had linked widespread corruption in Jammu and Kashmir with terrorism.
After abrogation of Article 370, the former J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik went on record to say that the corruption in the Himalayan region is deep rooted and major initiatives need to be taken to put the system back on track.
Before 2019 corruption in J&K was an accepted social norm. In the past three years, under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a new transparent corruption-free system has been established in the Union Territory and new benchmarks have been set to wipe out the deadwood from the system.
While inaugurating the ‘Vigilance Awareness Week’ on November 1 this year, J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, reiterated the pledge of the government to build corruption free Jammu and Kashmir and warned the corrupt elements that they won’t be spared.
Crusade against corruption
After 2019, the crusade against corruption in Jammu and Kashmir intensified. The Anti Corruption Bureau was given more teeth and the jurisdiction of the Central Bureau of Investigation automatically got extended to J&K. Both the anti-graft bodies are playing a vital role to end corruption in the erstwhile princely state.
The anti-graft agencies have acted swiftly against the unscrupulous elements during the past three years.
Their actions have instilled confidence among the citizens and they have become the most powerful weapons against corruption.
Common citizens are acting as eyes and ears of the ACB and CBI. It’s the people who are providing these agencies with vital tips to nail the corrupt.
Zero-tolerance brings transparency
Zero-tolerance against corruption has brought transparency in governance. It has ensured that benefits of good governance reach the last person in the queue without any discrimination.
The government has chosen the path of “reform, perform and transform” which has made a huge difference.
The system has been strengthened through the use of cutting-edge technology and administrative reforms leaving no scope for randomness and discretion.
The helmsmen are focusing on building an efficient, transparent and accountable system at all levels to ensure that common man gets all the benefits which he deserves.
The efforts are being put to make J&K self-reliant. The government employees are being made to understand that honesty, integrity and moral values are the real capitals of a society.
The Anti Corruption Bureau is working relentlessly to prevent and investigate corruption-related matters and bring culprits to justice. The good work done by the ACB has redoubled the people’s trust. The Bureau has been investigating the genuine complaints received by it meticulously. In the current year action has been taken against 445 accused involved in corrupt practices.
The ongoing “Vigilance Awareness Week” being observed in J&K is a warning to all the corrupt elements that if they indulge in any misadventure they would have to pay a heavy price for it.
Some people who are making deliberate attempts to derail the crusade against corruption are bound to fail as the new system in J&K is vibrant and active.
The administration led by LG Sinha has been instrumental in inculcating honesty, integrity and moral values among the government employees.
The competent officials and officers are being identified and handed over the important assignments, while corrupt officials are being shown the door.
Big goals, collective efforts
During the past three years big goals have been set and collective efforts have been put to expedite socio-economic development and achieve the targets within the timeline.
The policies and decision-making are reflecting the people’s participation, their needs and aspirations.
No one is being declared a ‘black sheep’ on the basis of prejudice but simultaneously the ones who are found involved in corrupt practices are neither being protected nor defended.
The administrative setup has adopted a common approach to make the working of administration more effective.
In ‘Naya Jammu and Kashmir’ Information Technology is being used to fight corruption. The Anti Corruption Bureau and administrative departments are working in collaboration through the digital platforms to keep a watch on the activities of one and all.
The General Administration Department, educational institutions and other departments have joined hands with the Anti Corruption Bureau to create greater awareness about corruption and its ill effects.
The helpline numbers of ACB have been given wide publicity. The Bureau has acted on many complaints which it received telephonically. This has helped the ACB to catch many corrupt elements red handed.
Making officials accountable
The new system has made the officials accountable and maximum of them are working with absolute honesty this is not allowing corruption to flourish in any manner.
The menace of corruption is being dealt with sternly.
The government has kept all its doors open for suggestions and is encouraging the citizens to become equal stakeholders in the battle against corruption.
During the past three years more teeth have been given to the anti-graft bodies and effective laws have been put in place to end the bribery culture.
Select group exploited system
Scrapping of Article 370, a temporary provision in the Constitution, three years ago led to the breaking of a new dawn in Jammu and Kashmir as it ended 70-year long era of discrimination.
Cases which have come to fore during the past three years have proven beyond doubt that the selected group of people used to exploit the system to the hilt as they considered themselves above the law.
After August 5, 2019, the ACB investigated several fraudulent corporate loan cases. These loans had turned bad causing loss to the tune of hundreds of crores to J&K Bank. These loans were sanctioned mostly to the political-business elite by the management of the bank from the year 2007 to 2018.
The borrowers included the son of a former minister, sister of a former Chief Minister and many other high profile people.
Politicians treated J&K Bank as their fiefdom, while the common man was made to run from pillar to post to even get a loan of a few lakhs.
Politicians allowed corruption to flourish
It’s unfortunate that the politicians, who ruled J&K for seven decades allowed corruption to flourish under their watchful eyes.
Despite them having all the powers they didn’t empower the anti-graft agencies. They never made an attempt to make the system clean, vibrant and transparent. They not paying any attention towards the burning issues allowed the corrupt elements to rule the roost and call the shots.
Their indifferent attitude towards a common man in J&K pushed the people away from the government and made them lose faith in the system.
The sincere efforts put in by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led regime have changed J&K from a “corrupt state” into a best governed union territory in India with a transparent governance system in place and people being the equal stakeholders.(IANS)