Mr. Sen stressed that he hoped that useful ideas will emerge through the seminar and awareness about the issue will be brought about. ADMIRAL TAHILIANI, Chairman, Transparency International India: “Corruption in India” He defined corruption as the use of public office for private gain. Corruption is also the use of empowered office for private gain. The main causes of corruption and their different dimensions as per the presentation are elucidated below: It is a myth that low salaries are a cause of corruption. Lack of penalty to counter corruption can be a contributing factor too. For example, Singapore is the only country where the people are hanged for corruption but such radical steps will not be successful in large democracies.
In India however, the Fifth Pay Commission has hiked up salaries for public servants but that has not brought down corruption levels. All of us must accept our responsibilities as citizens. In any democratic structure the Government, private sector and civil society must be accountable to the people. For the past 25 years, civil society was not very active. However the civil society is now a very potent force and therefore they should be involved in good governance. There are two types of corruption – the upstream, in Government Departments where public procurement is involved for eg. defence, railways etc. The other is petty corruption, eg: for getting a driving license, offering bribes to get birth certificate, ration card etc.
Transparency International has released a report on the statistics of corruption. The findings of the report are: Statistics say that Rs. 20,000 crores is lost to corruption. Corruption is not rampant in every Government Department. The TI survey dropped two departments – railways and telephones in their survey where computerization had reduced corruption. The survey also brought out success stories, examples of good governance initiatives and innovative ways to reduce corruption. The booklet on National...