Noting that secrecy in government can become a “very big danger” at times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday laid focus on encouraging public debates while making policies.
Addressing the valedictory function of Vigilance Awareness Week here, Modi said, “We maintain such secrecy when we make laws that when the file moves from one chamber to another, one does not know — let people debate. Now, the Government of India is making even draft copies of legislation online, with the result that all interested groups (can) offer their inputs.”
This process, he said, does away with the possibility of vested interest. “Besides, some issues that escape our attention otherwise are also included due to inputs from the public,” he said.
“When we make a rule with ambiguity, it can mean this as well as that, (and) it opens the door for corruption. Hence the state should be policy-driven. Things cannot depend on the whims and fancies of individuals. If the state is policy-driven, if laws are in black and white, there is very little scope of ifs and buts and the possibility of discrimination is very little,” he said.
Admitting that politicians are in the tribe most infamous for indulging in corruption, Modi also pitched for sustained efforts to bring in transparency and check corruption and irregularities by embedding technology in government work. Referring to Aadhaar, he said information technology has a major role in checking corruption. “There is a common perception that ‘sab chor hain’ (all are thieves). This perception of pessimism makes a man worry…. We can change these things with the help of technology,” he said.
Speaking about corruption, the PM said, “It is true that the community most defamed for such activities (corruption) is the one that belongs to mine. Ask anyone in the country who the most corrupt are, and they will take our names — names of politicians… everybody else can hide behind it and do everything… They (politicians) are visible in the front, but everything happens behind (them).”