CM’s promise of Bemi Transactions (Prohibition) Act yet to materialise
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, April 4: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi talks big about tackling corruption but in reality nothing has changed on the ground.
In his budget speech this year, Gogoi announced that photographs of residences owned by a section of government officials in the State, who have amassed persol wealth disproportiote to their known sources of income, will be uploaded on website for viewing by all. However, it seems the Chief Minister is only concerned about corrupt practices by government officials and not by his ministers and MLAs.
Though it is a welcome move on the part of the Chief Minister to make the ‘palatial’ residences owned by some corrupt officials available for public viewing, he should have done the same with his ministers and MLAs, with some of them also owning such properties.
In his 2015-16 State Budget speech, Gogoi said, “I would like to come up with an Act very soon so as to confiscate the properties of officials who have amassed persol wealth disproportiote to their known sources of income. In addition, the government will ask them to upload the photographs of their residence(s) on website to act as deterrent for those involved in corrupt activities at the cost of State revenue.”
The reality is that some ministers and MLAs of the Gogoi government became more of businessmen and less of public functiories in the last 14 years. They have amassed huge wealth and properties not only in the State but also in other parts of the country.
“Not only top government officials, but a section of low ranking government and police officials in the State have also maged to own palatial residences, which comes as a surprise. A few Assam-based IAS officers have amassed huge properties both in and outside the State. How is it possible? It is certain such officials are involved in corrupt practices,” sources said, adding, “People have also become aware of the kind of probe the investigating agencies under the Gogoi government are currently conducting against corrupt officials in the State.”
Sources further stated that it has become difficult for the investigating agencies to tighten the noose around corrupt officials, ministers and MLAs as they buy properties not in their mes but in the mes of their relatives.
To deal with such practices, the Chief Minister once promised that the Bemi Transactions (Prohibition) Act would be introduced in the State but the promise is yet to be fulfilled.
The Bemi Transactions (Prohibition) Act is an Act of Parliament prohibiting bemi transactions, and giving the power to recover property held bemi. It came into force on September 5, 1988. In this Act, the word bemi is used to define a transaction in which the real beneficiary is not the one in whose me the property is purchased.