Wednesday, June 15, 2011

CORRUPTION ERADICATION SOCIAL MOVEMENT NECESSARY RATHER THAN POLITICALISATION

The corruption eradication movement have taken a centre-stage arising out of demand to passing Lokpal Bill and in that connection agitation by Anna Hazare and Baba Ram Dev's fast unto death agitation to come out with legislation to bring back black money allegedly parked in foreign banks.. The government initially reacted very positively on both the issues but of-late have developed a cold feet. We need to realize that corruption, unfortunately has become a way of life and the general public has more or less become used to it. The corrupt, having significant wealth, enjoy high reputation in the society It is very unfortunate and deplorable that our society do not see corruption as a
major issue and unless the social movement change the thinking and mind set of the entire society, polity, bureaucracy, business and industry leaders and most importantly professionals, it will be very difficult to eradicate corruption or even reduce it just by legislation. The civil society is pressing hard for the appointment of a Lokpal and to bring in the Prime Minister, the cabinet, the entire judiciary as well as all levels of bureaucracy under the ambit of Lokpal. The Government feels that such powers shall supercede the powers of judiciary as well as the Parliament as envisaged in the Constitution of India. A thorough public debate on Jan Lokpal Bill, which primarily suggest setting up of a institution exclusively dealing with corruption in public life is necessary. It is to be ensured that Lokpal is not corrupt or work under pressure or become motivated and will be judicious, practical and independent. It will be important for the Indian society to balance out the powers, duties and responsibilities of Lokpal. The broader issue is that solution of corruption is not prosecution alone. It is more important to create awareness, a thinking process and a committed mindset against corruption.

We support for severe penalties, confiscation of assets and prosecutions of the corrupts but at the same time suggest the following


  • Each of us need to commit ourselves against corruption and by our own conduct set an example for our friends, family and specially children;
  • The civil society, Baba Ram Dev, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and similar other prominent social leaders should commence a drive to change the society mindset against corruption. The short cuts, small tips all lead to a corrupt mindset. Let all have courage to say no to corruption.
  • Social Boycott of the corrupt
  • Those who wish to support anti-corruption movement should publicize and create an atmosphere against corrupt practices.
  • The government process of approvals, licenses, awarding of contracts, making tax assessment and appeals, undertaking judicial process, all will require a complete overhaul to ensure the corruption is not able to breed. More particularly : 
  • Improve transparency;
  • Significantly reduce interaction between the officials concerned and parties involved;
  • Time bound decision making to be mandated and not following the same to be made punishable for the government officials.
  • Liberalization of various laws and regulations in such a manner that only very major and critical items are subjected to review of government officials.
  • The criteria for awarding contracts or licenses have to be vetted by independent jury.
  • The mechanism for prevention against corruption, a transparent process to take action and a speedy trial of those involved, after very quick investigation to further reduce the chances of corruption. This process need be left to the bureaucracy but to be administered under duly elected jury having public representative besides the concerned stake holders representative.

In the field of accounting and auditing, the government and the regulator need to ensure that the appointment of auditors is separated from promoters and those who are in-charge of governance of the Entity. The companies, mutual funds, banks, insurance companies and similar other bodies having large public funds and resources should be audited by an independent set of auditors including joint auditors. Such audit conducted by auditors, duly appointed from an independent panel, by a committee of various stake holders (ICAI-MCA-SEBI-RBI-Industry Chambers ) will ensure transparency, fair play and will act as a guard against manipulation, tax evasion and diversion of funds and will curb other anti-investor malpractices. We must debate this issue with its pros and cons and suggest a practical solution which can be a long term solution to facilitate auditors to contribute their efforts in fight against corruption.

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