Ministries still reluctant to check discretionary powers - The New Indian Express

Ministries still reluctant to check discretionary powers

Published: 09th August 2013 09:55 AM

Last Updated: 09th August 2013 09:55 AM

Even after several reminders from the Union Ministry of Personnel and a request from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to give up discretionary powers, government departments and ministers are not willing to follow the landmark decision approved by Group of Ministers (GoM) to check corruption.

The Centre in a letter dated August 7, 2013, has asked all the 64 departments and ministries to expedite the ways to check ministers’ discretionary powers and put them in public domain.

“Reminders of even number dated April 1 2013 and July 11 2013 have also been issued in this regard. However, the requisite information in respect of your ministry/department has not been received till date,”  the letter said. 

A GoM dealing with corruption in 2011 had decided to abolish discretionary powers enjoyed by ministers at the Centre to tackle corruption in the government departments and build a transparent system.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Personnel in April 2012 asked all the ministries to implement regulatory parameters to carry out an exercise of discretionary powers of ministers and put them in public domain so as to minimize arbitrariness in exercise of such powers.

All ministries and departments were asked to prepare and execute the necessary guidelines within three months. The government has already given up discretionary powers of gas pumps, gas coupons allotment and discretionary funds in welfare ministries.

The GoM had recommended that wherever the ministers have discretion in discharging their official functions -- for making nomination to various bodies --suitable guidelines should be formulated by the ministries and placed in public domain.

However, the GoM had excluded government quota in medical seats for students from Bhutan and Nepal saying it does not fall under the discretionary powers of ministers or departments, but it is a collective decision by the Centre.

However, about 64 departments and ministries have ignored the request dealing with serious issue of corruption.

Moreover, the ministries did not pay heed to three subsequent reminders.

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