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Graft watch on babus

Calcutta, July 5: The state administration has decided to set up an anti-corruption branch to probe cases of graft involving government employees.

All government employees, including those working in government-aided institutions, local bodies, public sector units, government agencies and societies, will come under the ambit of the proposed branch.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the council of ministers today.

“Corruption is the biggest problem in India now. We get to know about so many cases of corruption and scams from everywhere. So the chief minister decided to set up a dedicated body to fight corruption,” panchayat and rural development minister Subrata Mukherjee said.

The branch will be under the home department, which is headed by chief minister Mamata Banerjee. It will function parallel to the state vigilance commission, which probes graft cases only after official complaints are lodged.

The anti-corruption branch is expected to be more broad-based since it will inquire into complaints of corruption and malpractices not only against government employees but also against those working in municipalities and cooperative societies.

“The anti-corruption branch will look into cases of corruption on the basis of all kinds of complaints, be it official or unofficial or verbal. It can also suo motu probe cases using its discretionary powers,” Mukherjee said.

“The vigilance commission is not entirely controlled by the state. But the anti-corruption branch will be working under the direct supervision of the state government,” he added.

An official of the rank of inspector-general of police will head the branch. It will have its own police team.