By Nithin Sridhar
New Delhi: While speaking at the Global Focal Point Conference on Asset Recovery that was held in New Delhi on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the government has either removed or slashed the pension amounts of 45 senior officers in various government services because of corruption and/or under-performance of those officers. Modi further said that his government is unsparing when it comes to punishing the corrupt.
This is a welcome move from the Union government and further reinforces its commitment to fighting corruption and fixing responsibilities that will result in timely delivery on commitments.
Corruption and under-performance are the two major factors that deeply affect the government sector. As a result, various public-related works as well as common people, are suffering due to unnecessary delays, policy paralysis, and a lack of development. This in-turn affects economic growth and stability of the nation.
In 2014, India stood at 85th place among 175 countries on the perceived corruption index as per the ranking given by Transparency International. The biggest victims of the menace of corruption are the poorest of the poor. A 2012 study conducted across nine Indian cities showed how three out of every four slum dwellers were asked to pay hefty bribes to receive basic public services like food rations, free kerosene, health care, or public sanitation. Hence, corruption is deeply linked to poverty.
One of the major reasons why government employees were largely found to be under-performing was because of unaccountability and job security that is associated with it. Hence, by fixing accountability and linking pension with performance, the Modi government has ensured that greater probity and optimum utilization of all resources including human resource is achieved.
If this is further replicated in various state governments across the country, India will witness considerable improvements in terms of decision making, timely delivery, and overall growth. Thus, senior journalist Surajit Dasgupta tweeted:
45 officers punished by @narendramodi government for corruption. Governance in India will improve only if State governments turn as strict.
— Surajit Dasgupta (@surajitdasgupta) November 19, 2015