Vigilance favours online transactions in govt offices to curb graft

The Kerala Vigilance Department has recommended the use of online payment methods in government offices. Photo: File Photo

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Vigilance Department is favouring digital payments for public services in order to root out corruption. It has recommended to the State Government to allow payment from private digital wallets such as Google Pay and Paytm. This has been stated among a slew of recommendations for urgent implementation.

The anti-corruption body also recommended that separate accounts should be readied in government offices for online payments.

It has noted that public servants will find it difficult to defend themselves when caught red-handed with bribe money, if the payments are being done online. The Vigilance contends that unaccounted money was collected for several services and the receipts would be issued later. It has also detected that excess money was being collected by government employees for rendering some of the services.

Right to Service Act
Another recommendation is for implementing the provisions of the Kerala State Right to Service Act, 2012. The Act envisages the provision of receipt for all applications received and also calls for listing the number of days needed for rendering the particular service.

The Vigilance points out that the Act, which came into existence in Kerala in 2012, has not been implemented in several offices even after 10 years. Meanwhile, the provisions are being sabotaged in offices where it was executed, to continue the regime of corruption. For every lagged day in delivering a service, Rs 500 should be levied on the official responsible. The departments stipulate three to 15 days normally for delivering every service.

It has also suggested that online services should be insulated from every scope of corruption. Though 60 services have been made online in the Motor Transport Department, corruption still exists as the system offers scope for corruption. Vigilance is also conducting a secret survey to identify officials who are honest and corrupt.

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