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Conduct study on perception of corruption: CVC to IT, Excise
September, 26th 2012

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has asked the Income Tax, Excise and Customs departments to get a Corruption Perception Index (CPI) study done to assess the levels of corruption and improve their public perception.
The CPI study will be done by an outside agency to know exactly how the public at large perceives these departments as organisations and to what extent they are corrupt on a scale of 1 to 10, Vigilance Commissioner J M Garg said on Tuesday.

He was speaking at the inauguration of a two-day workshop on Ethics and Governance, Forensic Audit and Transparency in Public Procurement organised by the Vigilance Study Circle.

Garg said the CVC will closely monitor the index, and suggested that the departments repeat the exercise once in three or five years, depending on their convenience.

The idea is to know where we stand and how we can improve. India is currently ranked 95 in corruption. Can we come to 70 by 2020? Garg said. It will help us and foreigners feel better about our system, he said.
Inviting the public to participate in policy decisions, he said more people should come forward to ensure an effective Public Procurement bill, which is in Parliament now.

Indian democracy is in its early stages. Our people know their rights, but not responsibilities. With the loose democracy we have, people need to feel responsible for their actions and they have to be open to change, he said.
He also called for a look at revisiting archaic (British era) laws such as Prevention of Corruption Act, Income Tax Act and Excise and Customs Act.

While the British have progressed into an advanced legal system, we are still following these laws. We need simple-yet-effective laws in place, Garg said.

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