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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 16 June 2024 2.54 PM IST

Corruption surges govt departments: Vigilance report reveals alarming trends

editorial

Local self-government and revenue are two essential departments without which people cannot manage their lives, unlike other government departments. The services provided by the local self-government department range from birth registration to death certificates. For people who own land or property, or aspire to do so, the revenue department is indispensable. These departments cater to around nine thousand essential services related to daily life, earning them the reputation of being vital.

Three years ago, the revenue department was plagued with corruption cases but this past year, the local department has surpassed it. Two years ago, both departments had a relatively balanced record in this regard.

A recent report by Kerala Kaumudi revealed the alarming rise in corruption cases, with the local department topping the list, closely followed by the revenue department. Out of the 427 cases of corruption registered by the vigilance department across sixty-five government departments last year, 95 were related to the local department with the revenue department accounting for 76 cases.

In an effort to streamline government services and eliminate corruption, the government has moved many services online. However, the local self-government department, responsible for the highest number of services has seen instances of bribery, often facilitated by mandatory officer signatures for online transactions.

The revenue department deals with complex rules and regulations regarding land ownership, transfers, conversions, inheritance and construction. These laws, inherited from the British colonial era are often difficult for ordinary citizens to comprehend. Simplifying these laws and ensuring transparent service availability can significantly reduce corruption. When laws are overly complex or loopholes exist, bribery becomes a means to navigate them. Officials exploit these legal ambiguities, contributing to corruption. To combat corruption effectively, these legal entanglements must be addressed promptly.

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