People equipped with laws to fight graft: Omar Abdullah

Srinagar, Dec 17 : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday said his government has equipped people of the state with laws and powers to fight corruption in public life.

Addressing a public meeting at south Kashmir's Tral town in Pulwama district, 35 km from here, he said: "We empowered people legally to scan government functionaries from the chief minister to the lowest-ranking official by re-constituting the accountability commission (AC), constituting the state commission under the RTI Act and the vigilance commission (VC).

"We enacted Public Services Guarantee Act (PSGA). We put in place Third Party Monitoring (TPM), e-procurement and e-tendering in the government departments."

The chief minister said any citizen of the state can bring any functionary of the government under full public scan. "This is the visible anti-corruption initiative taken by my government which cannot be eclipsed by false propaganda," he asserted.

"My government, by introducing PSGA, became one of the few states in the country to have this kind of law in force for which public agitations were spearheaded, including the one by Anna Hazare, asking the parliament to enact a similar law in this regard," he said.

Abdullah added that bringing all functions of the administration and all government functionaries under full public scan is his endeavour and the task is continuous.

"It is now up to the people to be pro-active to use the law -- arsenal provided by my government to them to unearth corrupt practices -- and be masters of the situation," he said.

He said the coalition government over the past about five years has introduced and implemented innovative initiatives to curb corruption through common people.

Omar criticised his opponents in the People's Democratic Party (PDP) saying that to pull the state out of the morass of corruption it got wallowed in during the tenure of the PDP regime, led by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, was a difficult task for him.

"Under PDP, corruption flourished to such a degree that Jammu and Kashmir was tagged as the number two corrupt state in the country. Had this party remained in power, it would have made Jammu and Kashmir number one state in corruption. However, thanks to the efforts of Congress chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, corrupt practices started by the PDP were stopped.

"We believe in truthfulness and principle-based politics and not in deceiving people through tactical attitudes and politicking," he said and added he would continue to nurture politics of public service through transparent policies.

--IANS (Posted on 17-12-2013)

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