Hailing decision of the Parliament to pass Lokpal Bill today, patron of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mufti Mohammed Sayeed Wednesday there was a need to launch a decisive war against corruption in the country. He said that passing of Lokpal Bill was the landmark step towards eradicating the menace of corruption but lot more needed to be done. Addressing a function to welcome large number of people Kastigarh and adjoining areas of Doda who joined PDP here today, Mufti reminded that Jammu and Kashmir was the first state which had taken a historic and landmark step in the direction of containing corruption in the State. “While the country has passed Lokpal Bill today only, PDP led government in Jammu and Kashmir had constituted State Accountability Commission (SAC), similar to Jan Lokpal way back in the year 2003”, he said and added that powers of SAC were similarly to the Jan Lokpal because all important people including ministers and bureaucrats were brought under the purview of SAC. “To ensure appointment of only credible persons as members of the SAC Chief Minister, leader of the opposition and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly were authorized to appoint members of SAC”, he recalled.
Reminding that PDP led regime had institutionalized transparency in the government, Mufti reminded the gathering that Jammu and Kashmir had taken lead in bring Right to Information Act in J&K. “RTI Act was passed by the State legislature in 2004 where as at the national level RTI law was passed in 2005”, he added. Pointing towards rampant corruption the State Government, Mufti regretted that corruption has been sneaked into the government from top to bottom but the anti-graft institutions like SAC have virtually make non functional by the present regime for hiding its misdeeds. He reiterated his demand that SAC should be equipped with an independent investigating agency to ensure proper investigation of the cases against higher ups. Reiterating resolve of his party to change the present inefficient and corrupt system, he said, “with the support of the people, PDP wants to change the present corrupt system and to establish a new dispensation of justice and equality”. He recalled that PDP during its regime had proved how to setup a new system of justice. “It was result of the performance of our government that the successive government at New Delhi, be it NDA regime or present UPA government, provided all possible help to change socio economic conditions of the people of the Jammu and Kashmir”, he said and mentioned towards a special package announced by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh under Prime Minister’s Economic Reconstruction plan for over all development of the State during PDP- regime.
Pointing towards problems being faced by the residents of Doda, he demanded that besides giving employment to the locals, free electricity should also be given to the people of erstwhile Doda district because they have first right on the water flowing from their area.
He pointed out the mega hydro electricity projects are being constructed in this belt but the locals are not getting benefits of such projects. He especially mentioned towards acute shortage of water and electricity being faced by the inhabitants of this belt. “It is unfortunate that other parts of the country are benefited from the power generated by the projects located in erstwhile Doda district but the natives of this place are struggling to get power”, he mentioned and regretted that local residents are neither getting power nor other basic amenities.