Thursday, November 19, 2009

Corruption Ranking of India

The result was predictable. India's stood at No 85 on corruption ranking. Some solace in the fact that there are still some countries like Somalia, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq behind us. Singapore as has been for last decade stood among top three along with New Zealand and Denmark.

As I read more about corruption, its menace and methods used to root out the corruption, I realized the single most effective step is the 'will of the governing leader'. Unless the person at the helm of India's governance has the courage and will to confront this monster, only then he would have necessary implementation program to make institutions ‘corruption free' . In India, it is obvious that election funding is the primary cause for institutional corruption that is backed up, encouraged and protected by political party in power. Corruption patronized by politicians during Arms purchase, Import of commodities, awarding infrastructure projects, land acquisition and disbursement form the huge sources and form the foundation of corruption economy. This is followed by bureaucratic corruption during enforcement of laws dealing with Taxation, Utilities, Rules and regulations etc form the support grid of corruption tree.

Any discussion, article or debate on corruption free society includes the Singapore story and methods Singapore Govt. (In particular Lee Kwan Yew) employed. Mentor Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew says “Fighting against corruption starts from the leader, I mean starting from the highest points to the below, “30 years ago Singapore was like Armenia, it was a corrupted state, but now it is not.” New laws have been adopted to meet the challenge. “If you have a thing which costs more than your salary or business, then you’ve corrupted buying it.

Speech given by Singapore ambassador in France is succinct, focused and puts very nicely the strategies Singapore has embraced to make efficient nation free of any corruption. It says “Three basic principles of Singapore’s good governance include (a) the first is zero-tolerance for corruption. In Singapore, no one will be forgiven for corruption, whether it is a government minister or a government official. Singapore has been consistently rated as having the lowest corruption in Asia (by the World Competitiveness Report). Easy to do business and business costs are lower. (b) The second basic principle of the Singapore is meritocracy. Everyone is judged on the basis of their individual merit and individual talent. It is not the colour of your skin or your religion or family background. What counts is your talent. (c) The third principle is the “rule of law”. In Singapore, no one is above the law. Everyone has to follow the law and if you don’t, you pay the price. What this means is that, if you are a businessman, you have certainty the law will be followed and contracts will be respected."

I would be keen to see if India move in the next year ranking,

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