New Delhi: Narendra Modi is moving swiftly against high ranking government officials accused of corruption, extortion, bribery, etc. The move by the Central government is a message to erring officers that crime pays under Modi rule.
The Finance Ministry had dismissed 15 senior officers of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs under the 56(j) of Fundamental Rules. The officers include Principal Commissioners to Assistant Commissioners. The officers were accused of receiving bribes, corruption, extortion and even having disproportionate cases against them.
Most of the dismissed have been facing investigations by the CBI and the Revenue Department. The highest ranking officers who were forced to retire by the government is Principal Commissioner, Anup Srivastava, who was serving as Principal ADG (Audit) in Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs and also Joint Commissioner Nalin Kumar.
The dismissed officers will be paid 3 months pay and allowance which they might have withdrawn just prior to their retirement.
The government’s move comes days after it sacked 12 Income Tax officers in a similar manner and also demoted four Joint Commissioners. They too were accused of corruption, professional misconduct, forgery, etc.
The anti corruption drive against the top ranking officers goes a long way in bringing transparency and discipline in to the bureaucratic system that has been weak and corrupt to the bones under the previous governments. Rampant corruption and bribery was the face of Indian government since Independence. Though there are many upright officers in the Indian government, the prevalence of corruption every corner of the system had crippled the government machinery for too long.
Modi has struck at the very root of government mismanagement. If this anti corruption drive is sustained and taken forward, there will be a big overhaul of the entire bureaucratic system. This could help able and honest officers coming to the top of the departments.