Economy

CWG, Prasar Bharti, 2G scams kept CVC busy in 2010

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 06, 2011 Published on January 01, 2011

The Central Vigilance Commission initiated result-oriented programmes like use of information technology based services, instituting anti-bribery hotlines and an interactive website to upload videos, audios and complaints related to corruption during the year.

Wide-scale corruption in Commonwealth Games-related projects, irregularities in Prasar Bharti accounts and scam in the allocation of 2G spectrum to telecom companies kept the Central Vigilance Commission officials busy in 2010.

Besides, the controversial appointment of former Telecom Secretary, Mr P.J. Thomas, as the Central Vigilance Commissioner in the apex anti-corruption body despite pending criminal charges and the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Ms Sushma Swaraj’s ‘dissidence’ against him kept the Commission in news.

The Central Vigilance Commission initiated result-oriented programmes like use of information technology based services, instituting anti-bribery hotlines and an interactive website to upload videos, audios and complaints related to corruption during the year.

The Commission received over 10,000 complaints of financial irregularities and made recoveries of over Rs 56 crore after inspecting the works carried out by government organisations.

The first half of 2010 began with CVC officials attending to over 6,000 complaints of alleged corruption in different central government departments and ministries and public sector banks.

The CVC made headlines in both national and international media after the former Central Vigilance Commissioner, Mr Pratyush Sinha, in an interview to PTI in July exposed corruption in several Games-related projects being implemented by civic and construction agencies like the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, New Delhi municipal Council, Delhi Development Authority, Central Public Works Department and Public Works Department, among others.

A total of 22 projects related to redevelopment and renovation of Games stadia, Commonwealth Games Village near Akshardham, flyovers, remodelling of roads, upgrading of streetlights and overlays works by the Games Organising Committee were scanned by CVC and resulted in large-scale corruption cases coming to light.

The CVC report on alleged financial and administrative discrepancies by the state-owned public broadcaster Prasar Bharti led to the ouster of its CEO Mr B.S. Lalli.

The findings based on preliminary inquiry into the 2G spectrum allocation by CVC and investigations by CBI claiming involvement of senior telecom department officials and procedural violations by them led to the resignation of Mr A. Raja from telecom portfolio last month.

The 2G spectrum allocation is estimated to have incurred a loss of Rs 1.74 lakh crore to government exchequer.

The issue stalled the winter session of Parliament over the Opposition demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC).

Incidentally, Mr Thomas is under attack from the Opposition over his appointment by a three-member committee comprising the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, and Ms Sushma Swaraj.

Ms Swaraj opposed his appointment for the top post of anti-corruption watchdog citing palmolien import scam of Kerala in which he is still an accused.

The Supreme Court is monitoring the 2G spectrum probe and fixed February 10 as the next date of hearing in the scam.

Mr Thomas may have to appear before the apex court as a witness in the case considering the fact that he has held the post of Telecom Secretary for about a year.

The former Karnataka Police chief, Mr R. Srikumar, and the Chairman of Corporation Bank, Mr J.M. Garg, were appointed as Commissioners in the CVC during the year.

The Commission is also ensuring the use of e-tendering and leveraging technology in government departments to minimise human interference and check corruption.

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Published on January 01, 2011
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