Open House: Do you agree with the Punjab government’s claim of keeping strict check on corruption?


Step will act as deterrent for officials

The AAP-led Punjab Government’s launching of a helpline for strict check on corruption appears to be yielding some encouraging results. When the AAP government apprehended their own corrupt minister some time ago, this step must have rocked even corrupt officials and so they must stay away from corrupt practices. Even some politicians have deserted their political parties to join other parties in power to save their skin. At least this action must deter corrupt officials from indulging in illegal activities. Not that the menace of corruption has ended in Punjab altogether but while bribing, both the parties, giver and receiver, will have to watch over their shoulders and think twice for the consequential risks, if they are caught. But all said and done, we all can help in preventing corruption if we can make optimum use of the helpline launched by the Punjab Government. It should be taken as an obligation by law-abiding citizens to expose corrupt activities and risks that may otherwise remain hidden. It can’t be ignored that corruption is a form of dishonesty and a criminal offence which is indulged in by a person or organisation that is entrusted in a position of authority, in order to acquire illicit benefits or abuse power for personal gains. Corruption may involve many activities which include bribery and embezzlement. Mostly political corruption occurs when an office-bearer or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain. It’s too early to expect corruption-free governance in Punjab because corrupt persons are quite capable of escaping from hands of law by many means at their disposal. However, the AAP-led Punjab Government has started taking steps to curb corruption.

Dr SK Singh

Govt should prepare a policy to curb menace

To curb the menace of corruption, the AAP-led state government is taking strict action against the accused. Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann did not spare his own Health Minister Vijay Singla, who was involved in corruption. AAP started an anti-corruption campaign in Punjab. Complaints on the helpline launched by the government alone led to the arrest of 61 persons and registration of over 40 FIRs. The government received 4,135 complaints with audio and video recordings. We knew that the cases of corruption were deceptive, but the corruption did not end completely. In many offices, officials do not work properly; they do not guide people properly to complete their documents, so the illiterate poor villagers have to round up offices again and again. The state government is taking the matter seriously and checking the activities of employees at lower levels to see which employees do not work properly. They should give those employees warnings; if they fail to do their jobs, they should be suspended from the service. To eradicate the root of corruption, the state government should create teams that can respond immediately if complaints of corruption are received. People should also be aware of their duty. The government should chalk out a policy for action against government employees who take bribe and do not work as per their duty. If the government prepares a formula to punish the erring officials and imposes fine on them, then this would act as a deterrent to curb the menace. The government alone cannot end the problem of corruption, but people of the state should support efforts to control the corruption.

Sucha Sagar

Only 30% results achieved by state govt

No, I disagree with the government’s assertion of giving corruption-free governance. This is because people of our nation have been indulging in corrupt practices for long. Despite this it can be stated that only 30 per cent results have been achieved in removing corruption from our state. Our police, bureaucrats, doctors, lawyers and chartered accountants are still corrupt and indulge in the practice despite awareness campaigns and drives. In order to give a corrupt-free governance, the government still has to go a long way and thrive to eradicate corruption from the grass-roots level at the earliest.

Sanjay Chawla

Govt must take major steps for its elimination

The Punjab Government has given a word for giving a corruption-free administration. We have a lot of methods to reinforce anti-corruption governance. For instance, we could lodge an objection online to the Vigilance Bureau. The government also keeps a strict check on corruption by arresting several officials and leaders ever since it came to power as claimed. In addition to this, helplines are also a great aid in reducing corruption. But to my terror, there are still some corrupted officials who are a stigma to Punjab’s regime. But with certainty, I can say that the existing Punjab Government would take major steps for total elimination of corruption but that is only possible with the cooperation of the citizens. Referring to this, I would like to make an appeal to the government to be a watchdog for the khaki wearers and take strict action against those indulged in corrupt practices.


Erase corruption from every dictionary

Corruption is a huge problem for a developing country like India. Corruption impacts the governance apparatus of states as well as the country. Because of this public’s trust in government gets eroded. So, the decision taken by the Punjab Government to make Punjab corruption free by launching the facility of a helpline number is a good step, but it will give promising results only when the government implements it properly. At first the government needs to make sure that MLA and MPs should not engage in corruption. Secondly the media should also be unbiased. Moreover, the officials and bureaucrats should also keep their greed aside. Unemployment is also one of the biggest reasons behind increasing corruption. However the helpline can now be used, if someone demands bribe. At last, we should cure our country as well as our state from corruption. “So let”s erase corruption from every dictionary so that we can say that Punjab is a corruption free state.”

Jasleen Kaur

Better late than never

Corruption has been prevailing in public institutions for a long time. School students would write essays on the topic even during late 1950’s. During the three decades, corruption has increased many folds. There are many people who have gathered crores of rupees due to corruption. The list includes many police officials, politicians and other prominent personalities. If the government keeps coming with pragmatic solutions to deal with the menace of corruption it will surely succeed.

Prof Mohan Singh

Can’t succeed in short span of time

Though there is no doubt that the state government has its intentions clear to weed out corruption from the system, it’s highly unlikely it is going to succeed in just a short span of time. The menace is deeply rooted as it has become a well-accepted norm in government departments and places of public dealing. There is no denying the fact that several political leaders and senior officials, even of the status of Assistant Inspector General of Police, have been put behind bars. The government has to be relentless in its pursuit of giving clean and corruption-free governance for the next five years, only then we will be able to see some change in the corrupt system. Bureaucrats and other government officials at all levels have to share the same vision that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann holds to free the state of corruption. Let us wait and watch how the measures taken by the state government leads to the desired change.

Dr JS Wadhwa

A lot more needs to be done

There’s hardly any public office or a department where services are rendered smoothly without involvement of corruption. Unscrupulous elements are often found exploiting people in need even for a genuine work, by creating hurdles. In this way, illegal gratification in many government offices have turned them a den of corruption. Ever since coming to power, the new regime in the state has vowed to curb corruption and inefficiency. Besides warning the corrupt, a toll free number has been issued to public for reporting incidents of corruption. The role of big fish, involving former ministers and top public servants, with dubious credentials is currently under scanner. A few of them have already been booked. The initiatives taken by the state government to check the menace of rampant corruption has shown positive results, yet the panacea lies in sprucing up infrastructure and efficiency, for which coordination among politicians, public and administrators is most warranted. However, a lot more needs to be done to ensure corruption-free governance. Rapid automation in offices can play a vital role in wiping out the scourge from the government departments. Maximum services should be brought on online digital platform to avoid interface with channels where corruption breeds.

Nirmaljit Singh Chatrath

Govt action silver lining in defective system

Corruption is a heinous crime against the state and its people as it hinders their development and prosperity. The Punjab Government’s avowed policy of zero-tolerance to corruption is quite laudable and marks a silver lining in today’s murky world of politics. The sacking and subsequent arrest of the state Health Minister on the charge of corruption and strict action against several corrupt public servants and leaders will certainly deter the government functionaries from seeking bribes or indulging in other malpractices. This resolute campaign against corruption should continue unhindered to realise the dream of a corruption-free and prosperous Punjab. The International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9 every year seeks to highlight the rights and responsibility of every one of us in tackling corruption to promote resilience and integrity at all levels of society. Rather than calling corruption “just a way of life”, we should make sincere joint efforts to combat this menace. The government should raise awareness about corruption among the public. Only clean and transparent governance in the state can ensure the prevalence of the rule of law.

Tajpreet S Kang

Corruption systematic, needs all-out efforts

According to the Transparency International report (2021), India is one of the most corrupt nations in the world. The whole governmental system is riddled with bribery, scams and scandals. Despite the existence of several anti-corruption laws, organisations and programmes, systematic corruption is pervasive in all walks of life in the country. Even the Lokpal officials have proved ineffective in checking it. Declining moral and ethical values, unholy politico-bureaucratic nexus and lack of transparency and accountability in government functioning are the major causes. Keeping true its electoral promise, the launching of anti-corruption helpline by the AAP-led Punjab Government is a step in the right direction. The registration of cases against several officials and high-profile leaders, including ministers and their subsequent arrests, will surely help in improving governance. The government should take strict punitive action against them and recover their ill-gotten money and attach their movable and unmovable property. Steps should be taken to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of electoral processes. Rising above petty electoral gains, political parties should give the ticket to educated, visionary and dedicated candidates with high standards of integrity and probity. It will keep tainted leaders and criminals away from entering the august portals of State legislature. The government and civil society should work together to ensure transparency and accountability in governance for the common good.

DS Kang

IT-enabled services can ensure transparency

Before every elections, all political parties claim that it will provide corruption-free governance if they come to power. What usually happens is that immediately after a new government is formed in any state, vendetta politics starts. The arrest of Opposition leaders may appear as action against corruption, when it is otherwise. No doubt Bhagwant Mann’s current government has resolved to end corruption, but corruption in every department is deep rooted and has now become a part of the system. People too hold this belief that they can get their work done only through corruption. What needs to be done is to bring more IT-enabled services which can bring transparency to the system. The FIRs lodged in all police stations should be made public and a proper grievances handling should be put there. Also, lok adalts should be organised on a regular basis to resolve the pendency of cases so that people’s faith can be restored in the system. Above all, like corporate gives regular reports to their shareholders, officials too should give their reports about the public work which they are doing. This will rein in corruption.

Harvinder Singh Chugh

Let there be impartial action in all plaints

The AAP government’s crusade against corruption in Punjab is laudable. The state was in the grip of rampant corruption before AAP was voted to power with high expectations primarily for eradicating corruption. In addition to streaming administrative measures to check probable corrupt practices, more than 200 public officials, including politicians, have been arrested since the launch of anti-corruption helpline about eight months ago. AAP government set the ball rolling by arresting its own Health Minister for seeking bribe. Subsequently, the axe has fallen on three former ministers of the previous Congress government. However, for making the movement against corruption more powerful and sustainable, the government needs to be extra vigilant against their own political functionaries at all levels. It must be ensured that quick, impartial and strong action is initiated invariably in every complaint. Moreover, the whole administration needs to be streamlined in such a way that the scope of malpractices is minimised and transparency and accountability is ensured through flawless set of rules.

Jagdish Chander

More pragmatic approach needed

With a view to weed out corruption from Punjab, the Chief Minister decided to start a 24×7 helpline for residents. If any administration officer or police official demands bribe, people can report directly to the CM’s office using the helpline. It is a good decision. But government servants have found a new way for demanding bribes. Earlier, they would directly demand bribe but now they do it through intermediaries because of which corruption has increased. In the end, common man bears the brunt. The helpline has only added to the woes of common man. The government needs to come up with a more pragmatic approach in order to deal with the menace of corruption in the state.

Rohit Kumar Sehdev

People, too, should stop bribing officials

‘Where there is a will, there is a way.’ If the state government honestly desires to curb the menace of corrupt practices then it can certainly succeed in its mission. However, the success can only be achieved if the masses cooperate and do not indulge in corrupt practices to get their work done on priority. One practice the government can do away with is that of administrative officers of the department concerned and other senior officials accompanying ministers during their visits. This halts the routine work of their respective offices. Once the paper work is delayed, it breeds corruption. Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann should ensure the administrative staff is unnecessarily not involved during a minister’s visit. It’s agonising for people who come to a government office from far away to get their work done, to see officials absent. Make officials accountable by ensuring they deliver in a time-bound manner. Also, the government must bring the entire process of allotment of tenders and various other services online to minimize chances of corruption. If the government has an agenda to rein in corruption, it will surely succeed.

Rajat Kumar Mohindru


The Punjab Government’s free power scheme, which has led to “zero bills” for a majority of domestic consumers, is burning a hole in the pocket of the cash-strapped PSPCL. The powercom has already raised a loan of Rs 2,300 crore and incurred losses of Rs 1,880 crore this year. Is the scheme viable in the long run?

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