New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday reiterated his government’s tough approach towards corruption by government officials.
In his speech on the 73rd Independence Day, Modi said his government had taken several steps to eradicate corruption.
“You must have seen, in the last five years, and this time after coming to power, we have dismissed several people who enjoyed cushy positions in the government,” he said. “Those who used to be roadblocks in our endeavours (to eradicate corruption), we told them to pack their bags (because) the country doesn’t need (their) services.”
Corruption is like termites, whose eradication needs sustained and collective effort, both at the government and the individual level, Modi said.
“A change is needed not just in the system, but also in social life,” he said. “But there also has to be a change in the minds and hearts of those who run the system… only then can the desired goals be achieved.”
Crackdown on officials
The Prime Minister’s statement came weeks after several revenue service officers were forcibly retired by the government on account of corruption or non-performance in June this year.
Since coming back to power, the Modi government has also written to all ministries and government departments to recommend names of officers every month for premature retirement.
In its last term, the government had retired 312 government officials, Jitendra Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel and Public Grievances had informed Parliament last month.
Reiterating tough stance
This is not the first time the PM has spoken on his government’s tough actions against corrupt officials, which have sent shockwaves through the civil service.
In an interview to IANS earlier this week, Modi said: “We decided, right from day one, to attack the menace of corruption. Someone had to make a start somewhere, we decided to do this, without caring for political consequences.
“The results show that we are succeeding. Not only is corruption coming down, but trust in society is increasing. The number of people filing income tax returns almost doubled in the last 5 years. We have systematically clamped down on corruption and made tax filing and refund process online.”
On the specific steps taken by his government against corrupt officials, he said: “We are firm in our commitment that neither will we allow corruption nor will we tolerate any form of undue harassment. Hence, we took tough steps and compulsorily retired some tax officials in the last few weeks. In the previous term also, hundreds of government officials were removed from service when there were reasons to do so.”