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There should be zero tolerance to corruption: Lokayukta

Special Correspondent

He laments the vice has pervaded all walks of life

— Photo K. Murali Kumar

In public interest:Chairman and Managing Director, State Bank of India,

Bangalore: “We need to have a policy of zero tolerance to corruption in public life,” said Karnataka Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde on Monday. Delivering a special address on ‘Probity in public life' at a national workshop on vigilance administration in public sector banks, organised by the National Academy of Trade Union Research and Education (NATURE), a wing of the All India State Bank Officers' Federation (AISBOF), Mr. Hegde said there cannot be any differentiation of “petty and big corruption”.

Lamenting that corruption had invaded every sphere of life, Mr. Hegde warned that this could result in “the decay and annihilation of democratic institutions”. “Corruption has shaken the faith of ordinary citizens in our democratic system,” he said. Bank employees should realise that they are “custodians of peoples' wealth,” he said.

“It is futile to say that corruption is widely prevalent among government servants and politicians because it is also present in other walks of life,” Mr. Hegde remarked. He urged bank employees to help ombudsmen such as the Lokayukta in the defence of public interest. “Scam after scam has been surfacing in the last few months, even as political parties have been arguing that they have only done what others have done,” he remarked.

G.D. Nadaf, general secretary, AISBOF, said bank employees would like the formation of a separate tribunal for the banking industry.

O.P. Bhat, Chairman and Managing Director, State Bank of India, complimented the AISBOF for conducting activities that extended beyond its role as a trade union.

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