Causes and Consequences of Corruption in India and How to Counter It

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DEFINITION OF CORRUPTION
Corruption is defined as the use of public office for private gain, or in other words, use of official position, rank or status by an office bearer for his own personal benefit. Following from this definition, examples of corrupt behaviour would include: (a) bribery, (b) extortion, (c) fraud, (d) embezzlement, (e) nepotism, (f) cronyism, (g) appropriation of public assets and property for private use, and (h) influence peddling. Activities such as fraud and embezzlement can be undertaken by an official alone and without involvement of a second party. While others such as bribery, extortion and influence peddling involve two parties –The giver and taker in a corrupt deal. The two party type of corruption can arise under a variety of circumstances. Often mentioned are concerned with the following:

(i) Government contracts: bribes can influence who gets the contract, the terms of the contract, as well as terms of subcontracts when the project is implemented. (ii) Government benefits: bribes can influence the allocation of monetary benefits such as credit subsidies and favoured prices and exchange rates where price controls and multiple exchange rates exist. Bribes can also be important in obtaining licenses and permits to engage in lucrative economic activities such as importing certain goods in high demand and in short supply. Moreover, bribes can be employed to acquire in-kind benefits such as access to privileged schools, subsidized medical care, subsidized housing and real estate, and attractive ownership stakes in enterprises that are being privatized. (iii) Government revenue: bribes can be used to reduce the amount of taxes, fees, dues, custom duties, and electricity and other public utility charges collected from business firms and private individuals. (iv) Time savings and regulatory avoidance: bribes can speed up the granting of permission, licenses and permits to carry out activities that are perfectly legal. This is the so-called “grease money” to turn the wheels of bureaucracy more smoothly, speedily and hopefully in the right direction. It is also not difficult to think of a really awful situation where rules and regulations, and the way they are applied, are so complex and burdensome that the only way left to get things done is to pay money to avoid them. (v) Influencing outcomes of legal and regulatory processes: bribes can be used to provide incentives to regulatory authorities to refrain from taking action, and to look the other way, when private parties engage in activities that are in violation of existing laws, rules and regulations such as those relating to controlling pollution, preventing health hazards, or promoting public safety as in the case of building codes and traffic regulations. Similarly, bribes can be given to favour one party over another in court cases or in other legal and regulatory proceedings. Causes:-

1) Lack of effective management and organisation: Due to mismanagement and disorganisation, there is a weak control on various departments and their working. This leads to lack of coordination and control among departments and levels of organisation. This uncontrolled and unsupervised administration gives rise to corruption on large scale. Besides, appointment of inefficient and incapable managers and executives on various levels of hierarchy also leads to mismanagement and disorganisation. The only cause of this wrong appointment is corruption. Hence, corruption breeds corruption.

2) Lack of economical stability: Economical crisis and price hike are major causes of corruption. Economical crisis leads to unemployment and change in standard of living. It develops a feeling of insecurity in the minds of affected people. Most of the people do not have patience and courage to face this situation. In order to regain their employment and to maintain standard of living and status, this affected people engage themselves in illegal and immoral activities. They do not...
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