HYDERABAD: Even as the State government is gearing up to combat the multi-headed hydra of corruption in civic administration by bringing in TS Building Approval and Self Certification System (TSIBPAS) for according building permissions, the venal officials are equally ingenious in dreaming up newer methods of fleecing those who approach them for official work.
Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao on Friday underscored the need for elimination of corruption with the help of new Municipal Act but the GHMC Tax Inspectors and a number of outsourcing staff, who are habituated to doing work only under pecuniary considerations, are pulling the wool over the eyes of Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials by asking those who approach them for work to transfer the “bribe” money they want from them through net banking facility or even Google Pay so that there wouldbe no visible cash transaction.
Both Chief Minister K Chandrsekhar Rao and Municipal Administration Minister KT Rama Rao have warned the venal officials against continuing their practice but the pernicious practice continues. The Chief Minister referred to how Abdullapurmet Tahasildar Vijaya Reddy was set on fire recently, implying that it was because the people were fed up with officials who refuse to mend their ways.
The officials who are used to easy money are now providing account numbers and IFSC codes of the branches of banks of their family members and relatives, to those who approach them for clearances.
The officials, then, would ask them to transfer money on which they would come to an agreement. For this purpose, the GHMC staff used Google Pay and net banking for transfer of money into their relatives’ accounts.
The ACB officials said that the staff who are in charge of valuation of property make a killing by asking those whose buildings have been constructed in violation of rules to pay bribe to let them off the hook. If they go in for regularisation of the building, the amount payable would be quite high, and therefore, they settle for paying a bribe, an ACB official said.
By resorting to net banking transfer of bribe amount, the officials are unwittingly making their family members accomplices in the illegal acts as they end up receiving the bribes. For instance, Malkajgiri GHMC Tax Inspector Syed Yakoob Altaf had the bribe money transferred to his wife’s account. When the ACB officials caught Syed Yakoob, he reportedly argued with the agency officials that the amount in question did not belong to him since it was transferred into his wife’s account.
Following Yakoob’s statement, the ACB officials are likely to take action against Yakoob’s wife and family members for accepting bribe. Meanwhile, the ACB officials have prepared a comprehensive data of corrupt officers in property tax department in the GHMC.
Invisible cash transaction
The GHMC Tax Inspectors and outsourcing staff are asking those who approach them for work to transfer the “bribe” money through net banking facility or even Google Pay