As more and more public sector officials are landing in the CBI dragnet for corruption, the central government has decided to strengthen the vigilance setup in PSUs by filling up 33 vacant posts of chief vigilance officers (CVOs).
A circular issued by the department of personnel and training (DoPT) has asked all chief secretaries and secretaries at the Centre to nominate officers to be posted as CVOs in public sector enterprises on deputation at the earliest.
Currently, over 240 PSUs account for a public investment of Rs 2,04,054 crore. Keeping in view the recent CBI raids on enterprises from Coal India to Bharat Heavy Earth Movers Ltd, the vigilance officers posted in the PSUs are assigned to scrutinise the vigilance angle at the time of registration of complaint itself, rather than allowing it to fester. The CVOs will have to screen all the complaints before referring them to the CBI.
In order to attract bureaucrats to the vigilance posts, the central government is offering them a special allowance of 15% of the basic pay. Also their tenure shall be treated as 50% of the central deputation tenure to help them in promotions and empanelment as joint secretaries.
Since the central vigilance commission (CVC) is not empowered to take up cases of PSU officials below the board level, the role of internal CVOs becomes necessary to monitor corruption, malpractices and misconduct of employees and also to coordinate with the CBI for the expeditious disposal of such cases.
The circular also makes it clear that officers intending to join as CVOs can indicate their preferences of location of their posting but not show preference for any particular PSE. “It is clarified that such requests cannot be entertained and officers are required to indicate only their options for place of posting,” said the circular.
Meanwhile, V Narayanasamy, Union minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions, said on Wednesday said the government was adding teeth to anti-corruption measures by introducing a procurement of public services bill in parliament.