New Delhi, April 27:
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has called for a complete overhaul of the anti-corruption legislation and said the 27-year-old law was not only preventing an honest decision-making process but also left a lot of room for undesirable interpretation.
“Does the 1988 act adequately distinguish between an act of corruption and one where honest error has been made?” the finance minister queried while delivering a lecture in the memory of D.P. Kohli, the first director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
“This 1988 act fails the test,” he said, particularly finding fault with how it allows different interpretations — and a different treatment, accordingly — of words like corruption itself and gratification.
Jaitley also said that while investigation was a police function, it had come to a point when the courts are supervising them, which was putting an investigator and others on the defensive. He said it led to policy-makers resorting to passing the parcel than take a decision.
“In any economic activity, decision-making has to be quicker,” he said. “But our growth rate had started slowing down, inflation started picking up. The indecisiveness was costing us heavily,” Jaitley said, referring to the delays of the previous government in taking key decisions.
“It appeared that somewhere down the line, we had lost a little bit of credibility of our decision-making process.”
He said 2014 brought in a great change in Indian polity where a single political party got a huge majority to form government at the Centre.
“There were significant changes. After 30 years we had a clear mandate and government with virtually a single party majority was voted into power,” Jaitley said, adding that this mandate empowered the government to take decisions easily. (IANS)