‘Need to distinguish between corrupt, erroneous decisions’
Pitching for amendment to the Prevention of Corruption Act, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said change in law is required to distinguish between corrupt and erroneous decisions for helping officials take commercial decisions.
The amendment to the Act is already before a Parliamentary Committee, he said, adding that under the liberalised regime the government, civil servants and public sector companies have to take important decisions which could go wrong. Therefore, Jaitley said, there is need for a law that makes a clear distinction between corrupt and erroneous decisions.
According to sources, Parliament is expected to take up the Amendment Bill in the upcoming Winter session beginning November 16.
"We have now reached a level of maturity in governance to distinguish between an erroneous decision and a corrupt decision," he said, adding that people should be held responsible for corrupt decision and not the erroneous one.
He further said that when the Corruption Act was re-legislated in 1988, three years before the liberalisation process started, the mindset was that of a regulated regime and it did not distinguish between an erroneous and a corrupt decision and left a lot of discretion in the hands of investigating officers.
The time has come to make a clear distinction between two types of decisions, he said, adding, "the corrupt decision must be punishable, the erroneous decision only can give you a post facto analysis so that system is wiser by that experience but may not attract criminal consequences".
Noting that credibility is of utmost importance for any government, the Finance Minister said those who lack that would be unable to take any decision.
Even if the such government takes decisions, he said, those would not carry moral and ethical force that they carry.
Talking about various taxation reforms undertaken by the government, Jaitley said, the idea behind that is to make more and more tax compliant country.