Govt looking at amending Prevention of Corruption Act: Jaitley

New Delhi: Government is considering amending the Prevention of Corruption Act, Finance Minister Arun Jatiley today said against the backdrop of criminal cases being lodged against industry and decision-makers.

Finance Minister Arun Jatiley
Finance Minister Arun Jatiley

Speaking at a CII event here, he stressed on the need to differentiate between “errors and corruption” in bureaucratic decision making and dealt with separately.

“The Law Commission has sent its recommendations that in the changed environment it (Prevention of Corruption Act 1988) requires a relook.

“Therefore, a large number of criminal cases, both against industry and decision makers, which have recently in the last few years, disrupted the economic and business environment of this country require to be seriously addressed by looking at the language of the Act,” he said.

The Finance Minister asked industry to set up working groups and assist in the process of this debate as to what kind of changes are required where errors in decision making can be contra-distinctly dealt with separately from corruption in decision making.

“Both corruption and error in decision making require to be dealt with entirely separately,” he said.

Highlighting some of the challenges before the government, Jaitley said one of the challenges relates to the decision-making process being fair, and also fearless.

“I repeatedly said this that the liberalisation process started in 1991 but the language of the present Prevention of Corruption Act, which was drafted in the pre-liberalisation era of 1988, is deterring a large number of public servants, including civil servants from taking decisions,” he said.

Recently, the provisions of the Act along with other sections of Indian Penal Code were invoked against former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Coal Secretary P C Parakh and others in the coal block allocation case by the CBI court and the summons against them as accused has been stayed by the Supreme Court.