January 26, 2011

Pranab dada on black money: no name to tell, another committee...

Pranab at news conference: India News
Pranab Mukherjee says, there is black money stacked abroad, but the government has no names to tell. Why, he says, he is not bothered about names. Hasan Ali just slipped out of his mind.
He also says, there is no proper legal framework in place to deal with black money and that another committee will be set up 'to get studies conducted to estimate the quantum of illicit fund generated by Indian citizens.'  He may also b;ring in an amnesty scheme for tax evaders.

To be fair to any government of the day, it is very difficult to estimate, unearth and get back black money from abroad. But the point is, are the successive governments serious and sincere about it? Are they at all serious about corruption? Have treaties been followed properly where they exist? Forget the black money abroad, what has been done to clean the domestic systems? How have the IAS Joshi couple amassed a billion rupees of ill-gotten money [if you do not remember, they were raided recently by IT guys]? How did the 2G, Adarsh, CWG scams take place in the first place and what has been done to punish the guilty?

During the Press Conference held on [25th Jan 2011] specifically on this issue – on the direction of PMO – Pranab gave details of the ‘five-pronged strategy’ that the government is following to tackle this. The strategy includes:
  • Joining Global crusade against ‘black money’;
  • Creating an appropriate legislative framework;
  • Setting up institutions for dealing with Illicit Funds;
  • Developing systems for implementation; and
  • Imparting skills to the manpower for effective action.
Well, for once, let’s believe in the government’s sincerity. Let's hope that under Supreme Court pressure, the government really works full throttle to unearth black money in India and abroad. But will this five-pronged strategy work even if it is implemented in letter and spirit?

Perhaps no, till the government works at least on three more prongs:
  • Changing people’s mindset. Unless we attack at the root of corruption, black money will keep getting generated and traded in and out of the country. You will reduce the incentive and increase risk in corruption, but unless you make corruption despicable to people, you cannot reduce it below acceptable levels.
  • Making election funding transparent and reasonable. If people come to politics with the main motive to make huge moneys, favour their kins and get all types of amnesties and powers to curb action against themselves, and if there is no disincentive to do so, we will not be able to bring probity in public life. Election malpractices and discretions, amnesties and powers to public servants are in fact one of the biggest source of corruption in India. 
  • Bringing about large-scale reforms in bureaucracy and government systems. This needs to be tackled at all levels: induction/ recruitment, training, sensitisation, system building, use of new technology, strong disincentives and punitive action, and so on. Volumes have been written about administrative reforms but no government is willing to implement them.
But who listens? India News Today has been doing its bit on exposing and talking against corruption. [Do click here to get older posts.]

    No comments:

    Post a Comment