Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said procedural reforms were not enough to root out corruption, but people also have to change their habits to eliminate the menace. Releasing a book titled “On the Trail of the Black”, he said the intention of the Narendra Modi government on corruption cannot be questioned and that the prime minister was trying hard to root it out from the country. “In our personal interactions, the prime minister always emphasises that till corruption is not eliminated, how can we fight poverty and other issues,” Singh said. The prime minister’s decision in this government’s first Cabinet meeting to form an SIT to bring back black money, as ordered by the Supreme Court, shows his intent to end corruption, he said. “It is true that till corruption is present, it is not possible to achieve the development target we have set. And we need to accept this reality that when income disparity increases so does social unrest, which is a matter of concern for all of us,” the Union Home minister said.
The Modi government is fighting corruption through the Benami Property Act and the Centre has also saved Rs 65,000 cr by introducing DBT. E-tendering and e-procurement were also implemented, he said. On the discussion over digitisation and procedural changes, he said, “I think, as much as possible, procedural reforms will be made by us to minimise corruption. “But I do not believe that by only reforming or changing procedures corruption can be stopped. Besides procedural reforms, tendency needs to be changed,” he said.
The change in mindsets can be brought through education and people from whom others can draw inspirations, Singh said. He urged NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and others, who were present on the occasion, to work to bring changes in people’s habits. Singh said that though moral education was being taught at some institutes, he felt that it had not brought much change in a person’s character and morals. There can not be a “definitive definition” of corruption, he said.
Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, Bibek Debroy, who edited the book along with his Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Kishore Desai, moderated a panel discussion. Director, Nehru Memorial Museum Library, Shakti Sinha, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch National’s co-convener Ashwani Mahajan, OSD at NITI Aayog, Dhiraj Nayyar, and NITI Aayog official Bhavana Kohli participated in the discussion.