If India is poorly governed, the reason is that we have designed our system of governance for protecting, if not encouraging . Corruption is a direct index of the lack of good governance. India is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, ranking 72 out of 91 in the Corruption Perception Index of M/s Transparency International, a Berlin based NGO.
If India is poorly governed, the reason is that we have designed our system of governance for protecting, if not encouraging, corruption.
The PPSC case only highlighted how a constitutional body which was designed to ensure that there was fairness and probity in selection to public service itself could be compromised. But in every sector we find that we have designed systems for encouraging corruption and poor governance and then complain that we are not able to check corruption.
Let us look at some examples. The voluntary disclosure of income scheme (VDIS) under which those who had black money could convert their black money to white on payment of 30 per cent income tax against a situation earlier when those who were in higher income brackets had to pay 40 per cent, clearly put a premium on dishonesty!
It was a slap in the face of all honest Indian tax payers. If we find that 40 per cent of the Indian GDP is black money, how can we complain? After all we created the black money by policy.
Black money has many avatars. Mostly it is in the form of benami property or accounts. In 1988 September, the Benami Transaction Prohibition Act was passed. Section 5 of the Act empowers the government to confiscate benami property.
Section 8 provided that government would prescribe the rules under which the benami property could be confiscated. It is more than 13 years but still government of India have not prescribed the rules under Section 8 for confiscation to be implemented.
This is a case where even though legislation may be passed to check corruption, when it comes to implementation, we fail completely.
Industries in our country can become sick but our industrialists do not become bankrupt. This is because the Sick Industries Companies Act (SICA) and the institution of the Bureau of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) has been so totally transformed to serve the interests of the unscrupulous industrialists and the labour aristocracy that the original intention of protecting the interest of the creditors is totally lost in its Indian avatar.