Saturday, November 27, 2010

2G Spectrum, flow of money and Government Exchequer

Indian Currency
It many not be possible even for a good journalist, who is covering politics for last two decades to name all the scams in the last twenty years after liberalization. As the years passed, amount involved in these events exponentially raised to mind blowing figures. For example, how many of you can count the number of zeros in 1.76 lack crore(recent 2G scam) in one minute? And for our bad luck, there is no tendency of a decline in corruption, in fact the number of corruption cases and the amount involved in it are multiplying manifold in year after year.

Corruptions in 2010:

Consider the case of 2010; we have good numbers in hand - 2G Spectrum, Adarsh Society, Commonwealth Games 2010, Dubious deals in IPL, Prasarbharti scam, Karnataka Mining scam, LIC Housing Finance scam etc. All these cases involves huge amount of money running into crores of rupees.

The interesting thing is that, in the flood of scams in 2010 we don't even remember the scams of previous years, like Jharkhand mining scam of 2009 - the alleged money involved in this scam itself is around 4000 crore rupees (almost a fifth of the annual budget of Jharkhand).There is no doubt that the amount of money flowing in to the pockets of government officers, tax heaves and secret banking heavens like Switzerland will be a mind blowing figure. May be we need to employee the services of Tianhe-1A of China or Jaguar of Cray, USA(current top 2 supercomputers) to calculate the sum.

Ashoka's Dhamma and the Current Indian society:

Is it shows the current Dhamma of India? The spider net of curroption is slowly covering our society - not only Indian politics but in other fields too. Indian society which once boast of Ashhoka's dhamma and noble eight-fold path now have low rankings in Transparency International's reports. In a free country everyone have the right to hold personal property and accumulate personal wealth, but no where its said that the amounts which (is in/)have to go to public exchequer can be considered as the personal wealth and use it like that.

But from the top to bottom from getting driving license, building a house, to get connections faster, to get a contract, for operating lorries across different states, to run temporary stores in road sides people have to satisfy various hands of government. of course the fault is not fully lies in the hands of various government arms, people are more than willing to pay small or big amounts to make the things faster(so that they can make money more easier), to short circuit the procedures, to cover up what they are cooking.

The main problem here is not the number of corruptions or the amount involved in it but what happens to the amount itself.For example take the case of 2G scam or CWG games, there is a lot of arguments and counter arguments going on in these cases. Cases are registered and its sure that it will run its own course; CBI, CVC, CAG, ED, IT and various other government agencies will enquire it for some time, then another scam will come and attention will shift to that one and people will slowly forget this one. After some years courts may find someone as guilty and give them the prison terms - considering the pace of cases in Indian courts, these cases will run for years.

Recovering the lost amounts:

But What will happen to the amount of money involved in these scandals? Considering the mind blowing amounts of money involved, a reasonable guess suggest that, this many not be the work of a single person or a handful, but will the agencies be able go to the root and unearth everything? Apart from the money we lost, we are again spending huge amounts to investigate the matter.

What is the point of investigating the same thing by 5-10 different government agencies? Over and above opposition wants more probes into the matter. I don't know what difference a JPC can make? The report prepared by JPC is not legally binding, the same case is applicable for any other commissions created by government. Already there are more than enough reports on government coffers which may be enough to provide raw materials for various Indian news papers for one year!!! In such a scenario what is the use of another enquiry commission?

And after all these investigations, will the Republic get her money back? Will the penalty imposed on the preparaters (If and only if anyone of them convicted at all) will be enough to cover the losses of exchequer? Or will it safely land in Swiss bank accounts? or in the form of properties in posh areas? or will come back to Indian as Foreign Direct Investment from abroad?

Lokpal Bil:

This should not be the situation in a country which is aspiring for permanent seat in UNSC. Accountability should be imposed on all levels. Lokpal Bill have to be passed and there is no need to omit important offices like CAG, CJI from its cover. An enhanced Lokpal Bill, which will cover politicians and beaurocrats in the high offices in centre and state, along with the strict implementation of current anti-corruption laws will enable us to curb this menace.

If passed, Lokpal Bil will prove to be another big achievement of Manmohan Singh government, like the Right To Information Act(RTI), Civil Nuclear agreement etc. To overcome the current corruption scandals which shaked Union government and various state governments, government have to implement Lokpal Bil.

Still we didn't lost everything, there are a lot of honest officers in government services and politics.Hope that there will be a day when the publicaton of curroption reports from Transperancy International many not an embrassing event for India.


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