Notwithstanding the people’s perception that corruption had increased in Andhra Pradesh, the State government on Thursday claimed that it was only 1 to 2% basing on its outbound calls for survey.
Addressing a press conference at the Secretariat, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said the inbound calls on 1100, parishkara vedika, were 23,827. The outbound calls for survey include 50,000 plus regarding chandranna bima, 9 lakh for ration cards, pensions 6 lakh, chilli farmers 20,000 plus and corruption recovery 3,000 plus. The government was now focusing on this 1 to 2% corruption/bribe among officials and employees, he said. To a question on political corruption, Mr. Naidu said: “There is no colour to corruption. Be it political corruption or media or employees. Corruption is corruption. The government will deal it with iron hand.” The government objective is to make Andhra Pradesh a corruption-free State. It would be as strict as possible with it and also service standards. But would be liberal if it came to salary or if employees were suffering on personal front. The salaries should not be a plea for corruption. The government declared fitment of 43% to the employees with a view that they should not suffer due to insufficient salaries, he reminded.
“Hostility not good”
Mr. Naidu said some employees had returned the bribe they had taken from people following complaints. A panchayat secretary returned bribe to 10 pensioners following complaint by one pensioner. The government efforts were yielding results, he said.
To a question, Mr. Naidu said the employees used to be under constant fear during his first 10 years of tenure for which they turned against the government.
“In fact, the employees told me that they ensured that at least 50 votes were polled against me in 2004,” he said.
Employees’ hostility or working under tension was not a good sign and would not help in sustainable development. So, the focus now was on positive governance.
The government wanted a shift in employees’ attitude and work in tune with the policy, he added.