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Prevented coal pilferage worth thousands of crores: CVC

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Kolkata, May 14:

With the use of modern surveillance gadgets and introduction of e-payment, the Central Vigilance Commission has been able to prevent pilferage exceeding thousands of crore of rupees in the coal sector, Central Vigilance Commissioner (acting) Rajiv said here on Thursday.

pic: www.tkbsen.in
pic: www.tkbsen.in

Participating in an interactive programme organised by the MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the commissioner said it was banking on the Lokpal bill that would provide its own enquiry wing.

“The use of GPS, radio-frequency identification (RFID), CCTV cameras as well as the introduction of e-tendering and e-payment, we have been able to prevent a lot of pilferage in the coal sector,” said Rajiv.

“In coal sector now, we have complete e-payment, bills are received and paid through electronically. We have introduced e-procurements as well as reverse auctioning. All these have enabled to save thousands of crores of rupees in the last 2-3 years in the sector,” said Rajiv.

Talking about the preventive measures, Additional Secretary to the CVC, Salim Haque, said the GPS and the RFIDs prevent any unauthorised movements of trucks carrying the coal while the CCTV cameras have been installed at “vulnerable” points to prevent corrupt practices leading to pilferage of coal.

“In the Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, the losses ran up to Rs.4,000 odd crore. But now, due to these initiatives, the losses have come down to just Rs.1,100 crore in the past few years,” said Haque.

Rajiv said the initiatives have also been introduced in other core sectors like petroleum, railways, steel and power.

With the commission currently having only advisory power, Rajiv said the Lokpal bill once implemented will increase the panel’s functioning providing it with powers to enquire.

“With the Lokpal coming in, we will have our own enquiry wing that will boost our effectiveness. The CVC will get powers of its own to conduct an independent enquiry into cases of corruption. Once that happens, the problems that we have now about implementation our recommendations etc will vanish.

“This will ensure that the CVC will be able to ensure that those found guilty are punished,” said Rajiv.

On the issue of preventing corruption, Rajiv also called for focusing on the supply side corruption.

“In the last five decades, our anti-corruption efforts largely were focused on the demand side of corruption i.e. the public servant receiving or soliciting bribe.

“With liberalised economy and changing dynamics between public and private sector, there is a need to focus on the supply side of corruption i.e. the offering of bribe,” added Rajiv. (IANS)