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Babus can control graft, only netas can help kill it
DNA, July 05, 2014

Ex-coal secretary, who was in city on Friday, hopes the new prime minister will help civil servants uphold lost values and principles.

Building bridges
The relationship between the civil servants and elected representatives has taken a nosedive in last three decades and a great degree of 'mistrust and contempt' exists between them, said PC Parakh, former coal secretary and author of book Crusader or Conspirator? Coalgate and Other Truths, giving an insight on the Coalgate scam.

"Good governance can only be achieved if political bosses give enough space to bureaucrats to work," said Parakh, while delivering a leadership lecture at the launch of CUTS International Public Policy Centre here on Friday.

Harmonious relationship between elected representatives and civil servants is in people's interests, he said."But, in last decade, the respect and trust between elected representatives and civil servants has turned into mistrust and contempt," he added.

Parakh claimed that the downfall started during the tenure of Indira Gandhi as the prime minster. "She decimated and abused the civil servants for her partisan, personal and political interests." He quoted VP Menon, advisor of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel in making the Constitution, and said: "Patel was a person who believed in making a policy and allowing the civil servants to implement it. He allowed the bureaucrats to act as drivers and never interfered."

"I hope that (prime minister) Narendra Modi turns out to be another Sardar Patel and helps civil servants to uphold values and principles," Parakh said.

Referring to the Coalgate scam, Parakh said he had advised the then prime minister Manmohan Singh to open up and de-regularise coal sector. He had also advised the former prime minister to bring in a more transparent auction policy for coal blocks.

Both these suggestions, which could have averted the Coalgate scam, were ignored — one at the behest of Left parties and other due to the then coal minister Shibu Soren.

On corruption, he said a civil servant can control corruption to some extent. But if it has to be curbed, the political will show be there.

 

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