Ques. “Simplifying complex rules and regulations, making the decision-making process transparent, and giving the government a limited role will minimise opportunities for the corrupt”, while analysing the given statement, describe the causes of corruption. What initiatives have been taken by the government to deal with corruption?
Corruption in India is a major issue that adversely affects its economy. A study conducted by Transparency International in year 2005 found that more than 62% of Indians had first-hand experience of paying bribes or influence peddling to get jobs done in public offices successfully. Corruption is affecting the relationship of private sector with the public sector, a fall in INVESTMENTby private firms from 17% of GDP in 2007 to 11% in 2011 is one reason why GDP growth has slumped to 5%, the lowest level for a decade. In 2012 India has ranked 94th out of 176 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.
- Lack of ethical qualities and morality among administrators and politicans, illiteracy among people, poor economic infrastructure – all these are corruption to tighten grip over the people.
- Complex laws and procedures to eliminate corruption discourage the people for taking steps against corruption.
- Nexus between bureaucracrats, Politician and criminals is the main cause of corruption.
- Excessive regulations, complicated taxes and licensing systems, numerous government departments each with opaque bureaucracy and discretionary powers.
- Monopoly by government controlled institutions on certain goods and services delivery, and the lack of transparent laws and processes.
Initiatives by the government:
- Right to Information Act – the Right to Information Act (2005), require government officials to provide information requested by citizens or face punitive action, computerisation of services and various central and state government acts that established vigilance commissions have considerably reduced corruption or at least have opened up avenues to redress grievances
- Anti-corruption laws in India – Public servants in India can be penalised for corruption under the -Indian Penal Code, 1860, Prosecution section of Income Tax Act,1961, The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 to prohibit benami transactions, Prevention of MONEY Laundering Act, 2002
- Government Institutions – number of institutions of governance that have the mandate and the ability to deal with corruption which includes the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Central Vigilance Commission, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, courts, information commissions, and Lokayuktas at the State level.
- Civic anti-corruption organisations – A variety of organisations have been created in India to actively fight against corrupt government and business practices such as – Bharat Swabhiman Trust established by well-known Yog Guru Swami Ramdev running a large campaign against black money and corruption since last 10 years, India Against Corruption is a movement created by citizens from a variety of profession and status to work against corruption in India, Association for Social Transparency, Rights and Action (ASTRA) is an NGO focused on grass-roots work to fight corruption in Karnataka.
- Whistle blower protection act & Lokpal bill which is still pending in rajya sabha.
Corruption has a worst impact on our economy and could malign our image in international scenario. Best example of this is Commonwealth games scam. Commonwealth games is a global phenomena and recently exposed scam has maligned the image of India in the global scenario.
The fight against Corruption may well begin with simple acts of documentation. Media also can play a significant role to abolish the corruption by exposing the corruption. Bureaucracy should be made more citizen friendly, accountable and transparent. More and more courts should be opened for speedy justice. Lokpals and Vigilance Commissions should be more powerful and of independent nature so as to provide speedy justice. Other measures are – strict laws should be made; political interference should be minimized; power to make policies in public interest should be vested with independent commission; people should have a right to questioned the elected representatives and get answer; FUNDING of elections should be banned and there should be State funding of election expenses for candidates and persons with criminal records should be denied tocontest elections. More areas of public interest should be covered under Right to opposition against allowed Information, which will empower the citizens to ask for more information. Stringent actions are need to be taken against corrupt officials