Zero tolerance for graft: Patil

Zero tolerance for graft: PatilNew Delhi, Sep 28 India is committed to greater accountability in governance and follows a policy of "zero tolerance" towards corruption, President Pratibha Patil said here Wednesday.

"We are committed to greater transparency and accountability in governance, as also to a policy of "zero tolerance" towards corruption," she said while inaugurating the Seventh Regional Conference of the Asian Development Bank and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (ADB-OECD).

The initiative has been taken by governments in Asia-Pacific to cooperate in the fight against corruption with the First Regional Anti-Corruption Conference held in 1999. The conferences are held every two to three years, and India is hosting the event this time.

Patil said combating corruption will need a multifaceted approach as it had a number of dimensions.

"Governments would have to constantly look at and review existing laws, systems and procedures for ensuring their effectiveness," she added.

She also said institutions need to be strengthened, loopholes have to be removed and laws stringently implemented.

"All the stakeholders have to work together in all these initiatives to eradicate the cancer of corruption.

"I believe that any fight against corruption also requires the need to look at individual behaviour as well as societal norms. Legislation alone would not be enough. It requires education, creation of awareness and moral regeneration to fight corruption," Patil added.

India has an elaborate legal and institutional framework for prevention and combating corruption in public services, she said.

Parliament is also working on framing a strong Lokpal bill or the ombudsman law as also the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010, the president added.

Globally, India ranks 87 among 178 countries in Transparency International's 2010 Corruption Perception Index. (IANS)

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