Political Corruption


political corruption ,scandals are acute events that evoke strong responses in India. As Nobel laureate Amartya Sen pointed out many years ago, such societies seem to be far less sensitive to endemic malnutrition and other severe deprivations. Failure to confront endemic corruption on a sub-continental scale has earned India this rating from Transparency International, the anti-graft coalition: a Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) score of 2.9 on a scale of 0 to 10 , and a low rank of 88 among 159 countries. This is dispiriting news, coming soon after the Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme placed India at a dismal 127 in a list of 177 countries. The CPI is a weighted score arrived at on the basis of responses to 14 surveys and data from the past three years; the surveys covered issues as varied as corruption within the state, misuse of public office, bribery in the economy, inducements paid to officials, and petty as well as grand bureaucratic and political graft. Going by India’s persistently low national CPI score for many years now. The perception of high levels of graft is sufficient cause for soul-searching in government.
Despite the existence of a Central Vigilance Commission and State laws against graft, bribery is today looked upon as a systemic scourge in several citizen-related departments such as police, taxation, transport, revenue records and land registration, civil supplies, and municipal services. Corruption in government tenders, contracts, commercial taxes, and the working of official certifying agencies may be less visible but is no less disturbing. The implied poor rating of India’s systems and processes should have a deflating effect on the Centre and several State Governments that claimed to have ended speed money demands through e-governance.
If officials are to become responsible, a great deal more of government re-engineering has to take place. Mandatory regulations need to be introduced to put records in the public domain. The Right to Information Act, which recently came into force, is an invaluable tool for harassed citizens to call the bureaucracy to account. Law enforcement must render corruption a high risk, low reward proposition — not just on paper. India has signed the U.N. Convention Against Corruption, which is scheduled to come into force in December. This agreement has provisions to seize ill-gotten wealth across borders, prosecute companies indulging in trans-national bribery, and stop money laundering. But the country’s global standing will depend on how earnestly it moves to get on top of the corruption pandemic at home.
Prime minister Modi’s effort to bring back black money and to halt the train of corruption, is facing hurdles from babus in government at present.
The era of liberalization has not fared any better in this respect than decades of the license-permit raj.

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