Provide requisite manpower to ACB

Does it need any special emphasis and accentuation to convey the importance of Anti-Corruption Bureau in tackling and controlling corruption and offences like money laundering, tax evasion, smuggling and other frauds? Why is this vital organisation kept starved of the requisite manpower, in the absence of which what breakthrough in combating corruption and booking the corrupt could be expected, is beyond comprehension. The State Administrative Council under the previous arrangement had taken series of decisions to bestow the needed strength on the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) by way of providing the reasonable manpower strength as that was the bane of that organisation not coming up to its expected role and since no follow up measures were undertaken, those decisions did not move beyond the recorded minutes of the meeting where such decision was taken. How much would have the organisation shown its performance proportionate to the cases handled, had it been provided with the critical infrastructure of the personnel required, is not difficult to be reckoned.
While voicing concern over the incidents of rampant corruption in Government departments through these columns on umpteen occasions and despite that the Government keeping the ACB wanting in having its writ large in effectively tackling the menace due to having not adequate staff strength, is looking strange and such an attitude of slackness on the part of the Government is tantamount to encouraging corruption and rather glorifying it. That the situation continues to be in its inertial mode, we are afraid, is tantamount to clipping its wings and that is quite unfortunate. Was it not proposed to establish six police stations in the ACB in a phased manner over three years starting from 2018-19 which by now should have as many as four stations fully and effectively functional. The two proposed ones are still not established at all. Equally, over the same period, 398 posts were proposed to be created in the phased manner in which no headway is noticed and the shortage of investigating officers is making the said premier organisation vulnerable to ineffectiveness especially looking to the menace of the corruption reminiscent of its enormity in Jammu and Kashmir.
The General Administration Department which ‘controls’ the ACB should moot out ways to resolve the manpower issue by extending its cooperation to and work in tandem with the ACB at least now if not before so that the ACB Police Stations could function effectively. It may be recalled that under the earlier decision, say taken one and a half years back, posts created included the personnel of the rank of the DIG, SP, CPO, Dy SPs, SPOs, Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors. Is it a fact that instead of incentivising the police personnel by way of paying them deputation and other allowances, wherever working at the ACB police stations, even uniform allowance is not being given to them? Is this the way, corruption is sought to be eradicated and messages sent loud and clear that no one found indulged in corruption and resorting to corrupt practices would be tolerated?
Same approach of the Government is unfortunately seen in respect of “empowering” Economic Offences Wing (EOW), the establishment of which, as a professional special and separate institution to deal with economic offences, was approved in March this year and for which as many as 56 posts were created. However, so far no headway has been made and notifications about recruitment etc not made at all. Agreed, most part of the attention of the Government for the last two months is diverted towards controlling COVID-19 pandemic from getting spread and monitoring measures and various arrangements in respect of it but the need to strengthen important institutions should get by no account diluted, postponed or suspended. The offenders of all hues find abnormal conditions even like the prevailing one due to the corona virus pandemic, more conducive and opportune to further their illegal manoeuvrings which speaks for ACB to be empowered, accredited and effectively authorized for which adequate and dedicated staff strength is non -negotiable and absolutely unquestionable. Let a decisive war be fought against corruption, corrupt practices , economic offences and the like, now as never before.