ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Remedy Worse Than the Disease

Three steps—withdrawal of service guarantee legislation, harsh punishment of citizens who were forced to submit to coercion and extortion and paid a bribe for services due to them, and protection of bribe takers even from the investigation of corruption offences—when seen together are clearly unreasonable, grotesque and counterproductive.

Corruption in delivery of services and basic amenities to the citizens is the most pervasive and painful feature of the Indian governance. There is enormous evidence of ubiquitous corruption at all levels. India persistently ranks 79th among 176 countries as per the Corruption Perceptions Index, 2016 published by the corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI). Mega scams in India, including those that rocked our polity and society in recent years are all too familiar to us.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India reported that arbitrary allocation of 2G spectrum to favoured crony capitalists subverted competition and resulted in the potential loss of hundreds of billions of rupees to the state exchequer. Similarly, the non-transparent, arbitrary allocation of coal mines too undermined competition and fairness, and resulted in enormous loss to the exchequer. Lok Satta, along with several eminent citizens and the Centre for Public Interest Litigation had challenged 2G spectrum allocations before the Supreme Court, and successfully argued that the spectrum licences arbitrarily granted should be cancelled, and all natural resources should be allocated only by competitive bidding in a fair and transparent manner. The resultant cancellation of 122 licences of the 2G spectrum and subsequent auctions, followed by the cancellation of coal mining licences and successful allocation by competitive bidding have paved way to closing some of the avenues of grand, collusive corruption in India. But, we have a long way to go: the mining laws need to be amended to enforce allocation of mining rights through transparent bidding process and, as far as practicable, all natural resource allocations should be through a transparent, competitive process.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Updated On : 27th Nov, 2017
Back to Top