SHILLONG, May 15: Instead of blaming just the political parties and government, Meghalaya Cabinet Minister, Zenith Sangma is of the pinion that a concentrated effort from all stakeholders is required to root out corruption from the society which he said has permeated into the very mindset of the people of the country.
Sangma maintains that it is very difficult to combat corruption only by government machinery. “What I am trying to say is that corruption is in all levels and we will have to concertedly try to correct the mindset of the people”.
Citing instances where the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act which was enacted to give complete economic empowerment to the people has often come under controversies with charges of corruption against the implementing agencies which is the public itself, Sangma said, “It is the people who will identify the scheme in their own respective villages, formulate the schemes and it will be the people themselves who will implement the scheme after it is sanctioned by the government, but now we have been finding lots of misappropriation by the people”.
“It all revolves around human mind and unless and until we correct the mindset of the people it is very difficult to combat corruption only by government machineries,” Sangma observed.
Furthermore he said, “There has been a system of social auditing and in many case the secretary VEC who is dealing with the financial activities as far as the MGNRGS scheme is concerned and they are found misappropriating public money and in many cases they have refunded”.
On the recent allegations of abnormalities in the salaries of sericulture muster roll workers where it has been alleged that ghost workers have been enrolled resulting in misappropriation of funds, the Minister said, “If you talk about corruption, it is not a new thing. Corruption charges and cases were unearthed on several occasions during preceding governments as well.”
He further said, “This government under the leadership of chief minister Dr Mukul Sangma has zero tolerance against corruption and to fight this menace we have initiated and passed the Lokayukta Bill also which will bring transparency”.
Ironically, except for a few occasions, most of the major issues pertaining to alleged scams and misappropriations in Meghalaya have been uncovered while the Congress party has been in power in Meghalaya, even as the fact that the party is seldom out of the corridors of power is a point that needs consideration in this regard.