Sat, 21 Dec 2013 19:30:00 GMT | By PTI

Corruption is bleeding people, it is unacceptable, Rahul Gandhi says

Rahul also asserted that the UPA government was ready to deal with corruption and introduce measures to push growth

Corruption is bleeding people, it is unacceptable, Rahul Gandhi says (© Reuters)

New Delhi: Admitting that corruption is the "biggest issue" that is "bleeding people dry", Rahul Gandhi on Saturday sought to reach out to the India Inc by saying that "arbitrary powers" were holding up projects.

Interacting with business leaders here and responding to their concerns, the Congress vice-president favoured rule-based system in clearances to correct the situation.

Asserting that the UPA government was committed to deal with corruption and push growth, he outlined the steps taken by the UPA government, including enactment of lokpal, to combat graft.

Gandhi talked about the problems of inflation, clearances, accountability and transparency while underlining the need for pushing the growth to alleviate poverty and making the country the largest economy by the time it turns 100 years old.

"I am in complete agreement with the need for regulatory system to be rapidly and radically modernised. Frankly, there are no excuses for the length of time required to clear some of these projects. We are fast-moving economy. We cannot allow you to be held back by slow decision-making. Accountability has to be clear, fixed and time-bound," he said addressing the FICCI Annual General Meeting.

"The biggest problem is absolute arbitrary powers at all levels of the system. This is what we face ... In India, there are lot of arbitrary powers. The environment minister or the chief minister can take any decision he wants," he said while responding to concerns of the industry that clearances were holding up projects.

"The real issue in all these things, whether land acquisition or environment it is arbitrary power," Gandhi said, while advocating the need for eliminating the system of arbitrary powers.

He said the "paradigm" in the country has changed and in this scenario, "we have to build rule-based structure ... we have to get used to the new paradigm. We have to move away from the arbitrary idea that a chief minister and an environment minister can do anything."

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