New Delhi: The government has decided to appoint chief vigilance officers (CVOs) in multi-state cooperatives like IFFCO, NAFED and KRIBHCO to look into allegations of corruption and check other irregularities.
The move follows the decision by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which acts as a nodal agency to ensure transparency in governance and start anti-corruption measures, last month to bring these societies under the ambit of Central Vigilance Commission`s jurisdiction.
Sources in the DoPT said the appointment of CVOs, who act as a distant arm of CVC, will help CVC conduct enquiries on complaints of corruption and other irregularities.
"The modalities are being worked out in consultation with the CVC and others for the appointment of CVOs. The government will initiate the process of appointment of the CVOs after that," a DoPT official said.
The decision to bring cooperatives societies under the CVC came following complaints of alleged corruption against its officials, after which a legal opinion of Attorney General was obtained.
"The learned AG has opined that the members, office bearers and employees of the multi-state cooperative societies would fall within the purview of Section 2(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and that the CVC is duly empowered to exercise jurisdiction over them," according to an office memorandum issued by the DoPT.
The section explains category of a public servant who could be covered under the PC Act. It includes a person in the service or pay of a corporation established by or under a central, provincial or state act among others.
Societies like Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) and Krishak Bharati Cooperative (KRIBHCO) were enjoying immunity from the CVC lens before the latest order by the DoPT.
Both the DoPT and CVC are considering ways to strengthen vigilance mechanism in the multi-cooperative societies to check any wrongdoing.
It is pertinent to mention that the CVC is already looking into complaints of alleged irregularities against managing director of IFFCO including misuse of society`s funds to corner a posh bungalow worth several crores in the national capital.