We have political will to act against corrupt: PM


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 the agency’s key responsibility is to free India from corruption, which is the biggest roadblock to democracy and justice, and added it should not be distracted by those trying to tarnish its image.
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 probe agencies. But the agencies should not be deterred by stories about the 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, and its economic interests and institutions would 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 Internet banking and UPI stand in stark contrast to the earlier “phone banking” malaise, wherein 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.
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 to act against these evils on a mission mode.
He asked the CBI to devise ways to fast-track its investigations against the corrupt because a languishing probe gives a sense of safety to the corrupt while the innocent people keep suffering.
Terming corruption the biggest enemy of merit, he said corruption gives encouragement to nepotism and dynastic rule.