Property statements

Published at October 12, 2018 12:40 AM 0Comment(s)4287views

Property statements

The government has directed all officials to furnish annual property statements on time and without any lapse. Governor SP Malik directed administrative secretaries to order all officials to furnish the statements. Declaration of assets not only by officials but also by political executives/politicians has been mooted as bringing transparency in governance and a viable mechanism to safeguard the state against corruption. A reputed organization campaigning for democratic and political reforms has highlighted the concern years ago. At present, there are deliberations on how to prevent people who have had a criminal past from entering the governing institutions. It is an irony, and unfortunate too, that lawbreakers become lawmakers because of the absence of checks. Similarly, public servants who have to serve the people often are said to come under the radar of anti-graft bodies. While there is a weak mechanism of internal assessment and monitoring of the conduct of officials, declaration of assets and properties continue to come handy while fighting the corruption in governance. However, as per popular perception there is still a margin of doubt on the process of submitting statements or proofs of properties and assets. An interesting point has been made recently about linking Aadhaar with a host of services – to make use of the centralized system to control corruption, especially in the case of tainted officials. With the government in possession of reliable information, including the banking, the bureaucracy can be purged of the evil of corruption. Statement on properties and assets would indeed help higher officials and political executives to keep all officials under check, but the Aadhaar information can form a base in case of investigations against tainted or accused officers. Although the critical information and use of personal data has been marred by controversies, but the use of the information for a good purpose cannot be ruled out as being unjust. Still the key concern is not to measure bureaucracy with a different yardstick than political establishment. From a citizen’s point of view, both politicians and bureaucrats in what has been called many times as an ‘unholy nexus’, are deep in the mess. Reforms have to be all inclusive. Mere statements that can be forged and the fakes of which can easily be produced is not going to make governance or bureaucracy any cleaner. The greatest disservice is when a step in the right direction becomes a mere formality.




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