Thoughts on economics and liberty

Tag: Corrupt India

Who believes Advani’s bogus claim that he opposes corruption?

Advani, India's medieval nautanki, is such a joke.

After doing his standard routine of a "rath" across India (an automobile, actually, pretending to be a "rath"!), he now pretends to be an honest man:

Accusing the government of "lack of political will" to fight graft, Advani said the only route to end corruption is through public awakening or a change of government. [Source]

Does he mean to say that when BJP was in power it did ANYTHING to remove corruption? I never saw it EVEN ONCE. And I was Commissioner in Meghalaya at that time – and knew literally ALL of BJP's policies.

Indeed, I had particularly close access to Advani's government through Ashok Saikia (my ex-boss and good friend, and Vajpayee's favourite Joint Secretary). 

Vajpayee, Advani, Yashwant Sinha, and a few other ministers attended a major NE event in the Pine Hotel in 2000, located just opposite my house. Ashok Saikia spent considerable time during the bulk of their political deliberations.

Later in the evening I organised a cultural event for these VIPs (since I was Commissioner for Arts and Culture). I met Ashok Saikia at length in the PMO, later, trying to suggest to him some ideas like the negative income tax which I had been circulating to everyone who counted in that government. 

The point being that I knew most of BJP's policies when it was last in power. And in relation to corruption, it has a total of ZERO policies.

From 1999 to 2004 these BJP people had FOUR YEARS to do something on the corruption (or policy) front. They did NOTHING.

(The ONLY thing they did was to create riots and problems for everyone.)

So who believes this JOKER, Advani, now? He should go home. 

As I've discussed frequently, BJP doesn't even know that corruption begins with socialism – which is its economic stance. Swadeshi, socialism – both go hand in hand.

Therefore, BJP's economic policies ENCOURAGE corruption. And it ACTIVELY partakes of corruption. Of that I have information from the horses' mouth (both from Ministers in Meghalaya and from BJP supporters).

Continue Reading

Glad to see corrupt scoundrels filling up India’s jails

A number of top Indian politicians are filling the jails now. That's really good news.

Sukhram will, at age 86, have the pleasure of having his entire life's reputation wiped out, and cooling his last few years of life in jail.

I have no sympathy for rascals like him.

If it were purely up to me, I'd like to see them hanged, but, of course, I respect the idea that there must be some proportionality of punishment to the crime.

These kinds of people should never have been allowed to enter politics in the first place. But, of course, Nehru's Congress Party ONLY ACCEPTS THE CORRUPT.

If you show any sign of honesty, you can't even come close to the Congress.

The situation has become so dire that 99 per cent of India's politicians today are TOTALLY CORRUPT (including those from BJP – don't imagine for a moment that BJP is honest!). These goons have no policy interests, only one interest: how to make money.

EVERYONE in Congress, in particular, is corrupt. From the top to the bottom. In other parties you might find one or two honest people even today.

For the Congress to try to dissociate itself from Sukhram is cute! 

NO ONE BELIEVES ONE WORD OF WHAT YOU SAY, CONGRESS.

Stuff yourself and your lies.

A gang of thugs you are, and EVERYONE IN THE WORLD knows it. 

I have had personal experience with one of your "respected" Chief Ministers who called me to his office and asked me (in the Cabinet room of Assam, in Dispur, when I was Director, Rural Development) to award a major cement contract to a private supplier whose bid in the public tender was not the lowest. I did not follow that goon's directions. I awarded the contract, instead, to the Cement Corporation of India, Bokajan, which had bid the lowest.

(Even had CCI's price not been the lowest, I would have had to, under the rules – which favoured public sector undertakings – been required to give it priority. I don't agree with socialist rules, but as a bureaucrat my job was to honestly follow all rules.)

I was transferred within days of awarding the contract in accordance with the rules and was dumped into a job which had less than 3 hours of work a day.

That RASCAL "Chief Minister" is long dead and gone, but 100,000s of similar RASCALS are found within the Congress party today.

Nehru's Congress has destroyed India. It has looted India in every possible way.

LET US FIGHT BACK AGAINST THESE GOONS

It is time for good people to come together and offer India BETTER POLICIES AND HONEST PEOPLE.

Join the Freedom Team of India, or expect the same mess to continue. 

Addendum

Graft costing India 1.5% of GDP growth each year

Continue Reading

Cosmetic changes won’t solve India’s problems. Underlying policy assumptions need to change

A FB friend sent in this proposal (see below) – something he had found on the internet (I've traced it to JVPD Activist Utsal Karani), published on 15 August 2011.

A few brief comments on the proposal:

a) This first para is a nice summary of India's problems – setting it in the context of decision making in government. I'd have liked to see the analysis set in the context of socialist policy, not just centralisation. That would also explain why laws and governance arrangements in India are antiquated.

b) As for the rest, I'm afraid the proposed solutions quickly degenerate into the interesting but almost pointless.

  • There is no reference to the need to do away with the Municipal Commissioner of Greater Mumbai and have a modern, accountable local government system. Yes, greater transparency will help, but has Mumbai real estate become black money free? Are people disclosing the true values of property? I don't think so.
  • There is no mention of the need to do away with PDS, merely a reference to cosmetic improvements in PDS. But has this or can it possibly reduce the ENORMOUS corruption in the system? No.
  • GST is no magic bullet, particularly in relation to corruption. It is merely one way to streamline taxation. 

And so on.

The list has been made by someone (Utsal?) who seems to AGREE with existing socialist policies, but thinks that some cosmetic changes will change things. Reminds me of Arvind Kejriwal.

I'm afraid this won't do. The proposal  won't fix corruption, and it won't fix India's other major problems: poverty, poor education, poor health, poor environment management. We need something that can fix ALL these problems at the same time. We need a change in assumptions. We need classical liberalism. I'd encourage the proponent of this proposal to read BFN.

PROPOSED SOLUTIONS BY UTSAL (?)

WHY ANTI-CORRUPTION WATCHDOGS ARE SECONDARY?

The problem in India is greater centralisation of authority in Government functionaries and antiquated laws and systems.There exists mind boggling corruption opportunities within the governance system. Anti-Corruption machinery can not transform the decision-making processes within the government and make decision-makers more accountable. India needs systemic reforms, improvements, changes in administration and decision making processes which have in-built opportunity for indulging in corruption and also amending antiquated laws which have lost relevance. (Its altogether a different issue that existing Anti-Corruption Departments are colluding with the corrupt).

The following are few examples of systemic reforms under implementation or to be implemented-

1) New building norms introduced by Municipal Commissioner of Greater Mumbai- The proposed new building norms will at one stroke reduce misuse of discretionary powers of Municipal Commissioner and thus significantly reduce FSI scams and massive corruption in Building Proposals department. More importantly, the new norms creates transparency in real estate transactions immensely benefiting flat purchasers. (It is well known that existing Vigilance Dept was colluding with the corrupt).

2) RTI, PDS and a teenager- The continuing crusade of a teenager in Gujarat forced the Government to pass an order under section 4(1)(b) of RTI Act, making it compulsory for all fair price shops in the State to disclose all the details about rations received and kept in the ration shop. At one single stroke, the teenager reduced corruption in the PDS and alleviated the suffering of the masses who depend on ration shops for food grains. Unfortunately, this achievement was ignored by the media.

3) Reforms in indirect taxation- Introduction of Goods and Service Tax (GST) will eliminate multiple taxes, significantly reduce tax evasion, corruption and black money, reduce consumer prices and increase State revenues! It is estimated that India's GDP will increase by 2% by introduction of GST. For the first time in history, India will usher in a "Common Market".

4) Reforming subsidies- Creating efficiencies in subsidy delivery system to targeted sections of society based on UID/AADHAAR- Nandan Nilekani would be creating a revolution. The sums involved in subsidies are mind boggling in multiples of 2G scam, and that too annually! This will not only reduce quantum of subsidies, but simultaneously reduce wastage, inefficiencies and corruption inherent in the system.

5) Delivery of Govt. services in time bound manner as per Citizens Charter or Govt Rules- This significantly reduces corruption opportunities.

6) Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees Act (APMC) – Antiquated APMC laws (a State subject) across the country needs amendments. Farmers in Nashik or Pune are prohibited to sell farm produce directly to retail markets in Mumbai. They are compelled to sell their farm produce to the middlemen at the APMC Market, Vashi, Navi Mumbai controlled by a powerful lobby of traders and politicians. The farmer gets only about 30% of the final price paid by the consumer, rest is cornered by a chain of middlemen. There is an urgent need to at least exempt perishable farm produce like vegetables and fruits from the ambit of the Act which will reduce wastage (estimated at 25 to 40%), increase realisations for farmers and reduce prices for consumers.

7) Reforms in Police, Judiciary and Electoral system- It is well documented that these important areas need reforms.

Eliminating discretionary powers with authorities in various fields – Its well known that discretion breeds corruption. For instance, eliminate discretionary powers in land allotments and introduce transparent procedures.

9) Transparency and participation in Decision-making process- Decision-making has to involve the participation of the maximum number of people and there has to be a move from bureaucratic processes to democratic ones. The devolution of powers as envisaged in the 73rd and 74th Constitution amendment has to be implemented. The authorities should suo motto put important decisions of Govt/authorities in public domain/websites.This significantly reduces corruption.

10) Transparency in Administration as envisaged under section 4 of RTI Act has to be implemented- A few examples would be – a) Posting information on details of expenditure from discretionary funds of MPs, MLAs, Councillors, and Mayor on websites. b) Posting information of Building Proposals sanctions on MCGM website. c) Putting entire list with relevant details of MCGM owned Open Spaces (RG/PG) on website. There will be thousands of such examples across the country. Let all citizens act as Watchdogs!

11) Strong and Independent Regulators – Strong and independent Regulators in important economic areas like Oil & Gas, Mining/Natural Resources, Capital Markets, Telecom, Power, Insurance, Real Estate, etc. significantly reduces political interference and discretionary powers that cause big ticket corruption.

A right prescription can only be made if we truly attempt to diagnose the disease. If at all we believe that our anti-corruption prescription is only about creating hundreds of Anti-Corruption Watchdogs as panacea for all ills and turn India in to a Police State, then we are living in fools paradise. The corrupt will continue to thrive and invent ingenious methods and that too in collusion with the Police State. A true crusade against corruption and for good governance must begin with radically improving and changing State structures, institutions and processes.

Continue Reading

Corruption for Dummies: Corruption made REALLY simple

The last person who understood corruption in India was a man called Lord Cornwallis – the British general who was defeated and captured by George Washington, and was later sent to head the East India Company in India.

After Cornwallis NO POLICYMAKER in India has YET understood corruption. (FTI does)

SIMPLE THEORY OF CORRUPTION

Following on from this blog post, the simple theory is this:

1) You must meet the participation constraint.

You must ensure that good people (honest, intelligent, competent*) are willing to participate in the governance of India. 

2) You must meet the incentive constraint.

You must ensure that incentives are in place for such good people to not deviate into corruption.

[*Note: competent means people who understand capitalism and prosperity, and know how to run a very tight, minimal, but strong government]

That's it. Don't waste time on anything else. Just understand these two lines I've said. 

And if you don't understand what I've just said you have no business to be talking about corruption.

Please read BFN to understand why neither of these two constraints are met in India.  BFN also explains how you can help change things to ensure these constraints are met – by joining the Freedom Team of India

And so, this is the end of the lesson called Corruption for Dummies by Sanjeev Sabhlok.

Continue Reading
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial