Hindustan Times, New Delhi

A medical worker collects a swab sample for coronavirus test at IFFCO Chowk, in Gurugram, on December 5.(HT file)



Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked for data regarding the number of corruption complaints related to the Covid-19 pandemic, officials familiar with the matter told Hindustan Times.

In April this year, the government had set up a separate portal to expeditiously address any grievances related to coronavirus pandemic. The Centre has so far received over 1,67,000 complaints dealing with cases related to Covid-19, of which over 150,000 have been addressed. The complaints have been collated on the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances website.

The grievances of corruption, which are sorted according to ministries, include bribery, embezzlement of funds and harassment by government officials while dealing with Covid-19 cases. Although there is no separate category for corruption cases, officials are working to determine their estimate of the number of cases received.

“The issue came up at the November 25 meeting of PRGATI,” an official who did not wish to be named said. PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation) includes various ministries and is the government’s administrative reform initiative that was launched in 2015.

“(At the meeting) the Prime Minister wanted to know how many of the complaints received were about corruption and how they were handled,” said the official.

Officials said that the data asked for by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was being collated and will be presented to him at the follow-up meeting on Monday. “The PM wanted to the nature of complaints regarding the three Ps – persons, process and policy,” the official mentioned above said.

On April 1, Hindustan Times had reported that a majority of grievances received related to Covid-19 had earlier revolved around sanctioning visas, bringing back stranded Indians from abroad and the availability of essential services.

The categories under which the grievances are filed are: Inadequate facilities in hospitals, problem in donating to PMCares fund, essential supplies not being provided, request for rescue from a foreign country, being stuck at some place due to lockdown, harassment, lockdown not adhered to, examination-related, quarantine-related, suggestions and others, HT had reported. ‘

Editor’s Note:This article has been corrected to reflect a change.