Published On: Wed, Dec 23rd, 2015

Jaitley for expediting amendment to anti-corruption law

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today favoured expeditious amendment to the Prevention of Corruption Act to attune it with the modern economy, saying the present law fails to distinguish between corrupt and erroneous decisions.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

A bill to amend the law was introduced in Rajya Sabha earlier this month.

The 1988-Act was a a pre-liberalisation law and it fails to distinguish between a corrupt decision and an erroneous decision, Jaitley said while delivering the Annual Lecture of the Intelligence Bureau here.

The Minister said that keeping erroneous decision within the preview of this Act “dissuades civil servants from taking correct and bold decisions in the interest of the economy”.

“Defence purchases, commercial decision-making, disinvestment and privatisation are examples of decisions which have suffered on this count.

“There is, thus an urgent need to expedite review and amend the Prevention of Corruption Act to bring it in tune with the requirements of the liberalised economy,” Jaitley said.

He further said the amendments which have been introduced by the government are before Parliament and when “Parliament gets out of this dysfunctional phase, I hope they are taken up at some stage”.

The proposed amendments are mainly aimed at laying down more stringent measures to tackle corruption. The proposed bill also aims to provide a shield of protection to the government employees after they have resigned or retired from the service.

Jailey further said the nature of offences has changed with the transformation of the economy from the ‘Licence Raj’ to a liberalised era.

The world economy, he said, has also got integrated today and technology is a great facilitator.

“It also facilitates in economic crime. Money laundering, bank frauds, corruption, market manipulation, taxation frauds, are operations which are frequently seen in the libera

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

ilised era.

“The investigative agencies have to continuously upgrade their skills to be ahead of the perpetrators of these crimes,” the Minister said.

PTI

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