No single solution for corruption: President

August 14th, 2011 - 8:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) Terming corruption a cancer affecting the nation, President Pratibha Patil Sunday said there cannot be just one panacea to deal with the menace and a system of transparency and accountability needs to be put in place at various levels.

“Corruption is a cancer affecting the nation’s political, economic, cultural and social life. It is necessary to eliminate it,” said Patil in her address to the nation on the eve of the 65th Independence Day.

Though she did not refer to the ongoing debate on the need for a strong Lokpal, suggested by social activist Anna Hazare as an all-powerful institution to deal with corruption in the country, the president said: “There cannot be just one panacea or remedy to deal with corruption, but a system of transparency and accountability should be put in place at various levels and effectively enforced.”

The president further said that pursuing the anti-corruption agenda would require preventive and punitive measures and a rational approach, besides strong institutions and good governance.

“India is known for its sobriety and wisdom, balanced and sensible thinking. We need strong institutions and we need good governance in the country. Our institutions need to be fortified and our governance constantly improved. We should analyse the situation and find considered solutions to address the challenges we are facing in a thoughtful manner,” she said.

Stating the credibiltiy of institutions depends upon their conduct, which must be in accordance with the constitutional framework, the president said: “We should strengthen them and their ability to take corrective actions, whenever required. There should be no effort, consciously or otherwise, that will lead to the erosion of institutional credibility and authority.”

The president asked the government, parliament, the judiciary and society at large to ponder over corruption and find ways to handle it. Stating that the institutions created by the constitution have been stable, Patil further said the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances have given the country a governance structure in which equilibrium is maintained.

Highlighting the need to preserve democracy and parliamentary procedures, the president suggested electoral reforms, including state funding of elections and debarring criminals from participating in elections to cleanse the system.

Observing that the July 13, 2011 blasts in Mumbai were a grim reminder that terrorism is posing a threat to global peace, the president asked the country to be ever-vigilant to fight the menace.

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