Definitely, the most talked about factor in the upcoming polls has been ‘corruption’. The impact is so prominent and sturdy that a newly emerged political party, which claimed to wipe out this curse from roots, did not just fetch attention rather was successful in forming the Government. Radio stations and TV channels are flooded with advertisements wherein political groups are promising to deliver anti-corrupt environment post elections. The movement of Anna in support of Jan Lokpal Bill can surely be looked upon as the foremost turning point. Extensive coverage by media, vigorous participation by youth, and consensus among people from distinct parts of the nation alarmed the Government to pursue this concern on a serious note. Is corruption the most limiting factor in the prosperity of the nation? Numerous surveys have uncovered the fact that corruption is the defining factor in 2014 polls superseding factors like unemployment, inflation, women safety, and unequal distribution of income. So, a comprehensive understanding is a necessity so as to welcome reforms in this respect.
Most of us relate corruption either with the unlawful money asked by public sector officials, or with Government scams for instance 2G and Coalgate. An apt understanding is therefore the need of the hour. We can differentiate the forms of corruption as (1) Pity monetary favors alleged by officials of distinctive government departments; (2) Illicit money for favoring the breach of laws (e.g. money in lieu of penalty for violating transport regulations); (3) unlawful acts of associations and trade unions (e.g. inflating the prices of medicines by the union of medicine distributors); and (4) Scams of Union/ State Governments (e. g. NRHM, Taj Corridor, and Commonwealth). With a precise distinction of forms of corruption, it becomes uncomplicated to frame and implement relevant measures. While the awareness and resilient approach of the general public is the pre-requisite to overcome corruption in government departments, the corrupt practices of MPs and MLAs can be restricted by framing stringent anti-corruption laws. Similarly, the regulatory authorities must implement strict competitive regulations to restrict unions from undertaking corrupt practices.
The most prominent of all is the cognizance and participation of the public at large. It cannot be denied that we are tempted to pay illicit money so as to render speediness to our applications. It is worthy to note that many of our social and economic drawbacks can be eliminated if we can successfully overcome the monster of corruption. With proper allocation of resources, the industrial backbone of the nation will be strengthened, which in turn would create immense employment prospects. The real beneficiary will be the one who is the most deserving if the law-makers put in place laws that can rigorously punish corrupt officials as well as ministers. Let us all unite and demand for stringent auditing procedures and bylaws that can uncover the wrongs committed at distinct levels. This definitely would be a valid extension to the Right to Information Act.
Another noticeable form of corruption occurs as an outcome of ineffective platforms for incorporating a new venture. It is an established fact that a nation can ensure the prosperity of the inhabitants by providing an uncomplicated route for setting up industrial units. With the enhancement of the economy, consumers are delivered with competitive prices and superior services on one hand, while generation of employment prospects is ensured on the other. Numerous registrations, licenses, certifications, and permits not just increase the burden of starting a new venture, but also restrict entrepreneurs from business expansions. Herein too, the officials of the departments look forward to collecting illicit money in lieu of fast processing of applications and grant of licenses in cases of imperfect documentations. Businesses are unable to find an alternative and hence the ultimate sufferers are the job-seekers and consumers. Common window service for the processing of applications along with a definite time period and provision for penalty in cases of delay can be an impeccable solution.
I would conclude with the fact that unawareness of rights and duties are prominent bottlenecks in the way of development of society. Laws, enactments, acts, and notifications are not only challenging to interpret, they also lack accessibility to the general public. Not many of us are aware of our rights under the Right to Information Act. Corporate entities, too, undergo troubles while formulating plans and budgets in view of prevailing laws and acts. Simplification and ease of approachability are much needed. Corruption follows unawareness. Governments and local authorities must endeavor to communicate the rights of every citizen as laid down in the Constitution, and in distinct Acts. Plus, laws related to income tax, corporate tax, sales tax, customs, and excise must be revised based on the suggestions of experts and thereafter easy interpretations must be made available. These measures call in for vision and intellectuality, and we expect that the new Union Government post polls would make every possible attempt to ensure the contentment and development of every resident of India.