14th April 2011
This flimflam about Jan LokPal bill won’t clean India’s image
Indians are DELUDED if they think that the enactment of a Jan LokPal bill will clean India's image in the world.
All the gloating and celebrating about this Bill won't budge corruption ONE BIT, because EVERYONE in the world knows that this Bill is a sham.
The Bill doesn't deal with the fundamental DRIVERS of corruption. They know that just aping (and that too badly) a tiny part of Hong Kong's anti-corruption framework won't make the slightest dent in corruption in India.
I therefore GUARANTEE (and I'm happy to be held to account on this guarantee) that the rankings of India on the Transparency International index won't budge even after five years of enacting this bill UNLESS the other reforms, clearly outlined in BFN, are implemented.
Without very significant policy changes, corruption in India CAN'T be budged.
The right policy changes CAN make a huge difference, within less than fives years. The Freedom Team is India that aims to deliver such fundamental reforms is India's ONLY HOPE.
I encourage you to join/support FTI! Be not deluded by the enactment of trifles. The goal should be not just to stop the generation of corruption but to create high quality education for everyone, and freedom to trade and produce.
Not ONE party (or the India Against Corruption movement) understands what it will take to move India in the right direction.
Investment in India now suffering due to corruption
The future of India is being compromised by bad policies. Corruption is just one of the many reasons why India is losing its attraction as an investment destination. The package we offer to investors is decidedly unattractive – blocking them at every step.
Just for the record, I'd like to copy most of this article from The Economist, for wider dissemination.
The price of graft
Investors have gone off India. Blame, in part, uncertainty over corruption
Mar 24th 2011
CORRUPTION is dreadful in India, as shown by a current “season of scams”—over mobile-phone licences, the Commonwealth games and more. Politicians, notably the ruling Congress party, are now feeling the public’s ire (see article). Worries have also grown that graft is scaring away foreign businesses.
Circumstantial evidence points that way. A spokesman for a big Western firm mutters into his cappuccino about a recent High Court decision, which if upheld would cost his company billions. It was so strange, he says, it could be explained only by judicial graft. A representative of a British media firm, SIS Live, which broadcast the Commonwealth games from Delhi, in October, is furious—along with other contractors—at being left millions of pounds out of pocket because, he says, payments have been frozen by investigators digging up evidence of corruption at the event.
Across the board, surveys regularly tell how graft is an unusually heavy tax on Indian business. An annual one published on March 23rd by PERC, a Shanghai-based consultancy, shows investors are more negative than they were five years ago. Of 16 mostly Asian countries assessed, India now ranks the fourth-most-corrupt, in the eyes of 1,725 businessmen questioned. Being considered worse than China or Vietnam is bad enough; being lumped with the likes of Cambodia looks embarrassing.
Outsiders may get an exaggerated view. India’s democracy, with a nosy press and opposition, helps to trumpet its scams and scandals, more than happens in, say, China. Yet locals tell similar tales. A cabinet minister frets that there is so much ghotala (fiddling), “it tells the world we are all corrupt. It may be a dampener to investment.” Others agree. KPMG this month reported on 100 bosses who were asked about their own experience of graft. One in three said it did deter long-term investment.
Judging how much difference it makes is tricky. Right now, investors may be spooked as much by the fight against graft as by the corruption itself. Arpinder Singh of Ernst & Young in Mumbai says foreigners, especially those with some connection to America, increasingly hire firms like his to help them comply with America’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Once a foreigner holds more than about 5-10% equity in an Indian firm, it is seen as having some responsibility for how it is run.
Now even Indian firms, if they want to raise money abroad, or if their bosses want to protect their own professional reputations, are doing the same. As other countries, such as Britain, bring in tough anti-graft laws like America’s, the trend will continue. Yet many Indian firms still fail to comply with higher standards, so deals falter. Mr Singh ticks off a list, “in infrastructure, ports, toll roads, irrigation, microfinance”, of deals he has worked on that collapsed over “governance problems”.
None of this is enough to prove that graft, alone, is scaring off business. Pranab Mukherjee, the finance minister, insists there is no correlation between corruption and foreign direct investment (FDI).
[Pranab Mukherjee is CLEARLY a big DONKEY – anyone have any doubt on this??]
But something is keeping investors wary. In 2010 the country drew just $24 billion in FDI, down by nearly a third on the year before, and barely a quarter of China’s tally. There is no shortage of other discouragements: high inflation, bureaucracy, disputes over land ownership, and limits on foreign ownership in some industries.
Even so, India is home to an unusually pernicious form of corruption, argues Jahangir Aziz of JPMorgan. Elsewhere graft may be a fairly efficient way to do business: investors who pay bribes in China may at least be confident of what they will get in return. In India, however, too many crooked officials demand cash but fail to deliver their side of the bargain. Uncertainty, not just the cost of the “graft tax”, may be the biggest deterrent of all.