Tuesday October 24, 2017
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Does corruption extenuate climate change funds?

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Corruption is a substantial obstacle in our endeavours to constraint climate change. It sounds weird, but when we peel some layers off it, we get to see a dirty picture. Contemporary India is struggling with several moral and administrative issues to rectify but, nature doesn’t seem to find empathisers. When it is about our climate and nature, time is always scarce as we humans can’t control the damage.

The need of the hour is to address the hindrances caused for immediate results of government policies working towards grappling onto the few last strands of environmental remunerations.

The Indian government has several  schemes in place to tackle the increasing delinquency of climate change such as- National River Conservation Plan, Ecomark Scheme of India (ECOMARK) – Ecomark Labelling, National Afforestation Programme: A Participatory Approach to Sustainable Development of Forests, National Action Programme to Combat Desertification and Grants-in-aid Scheme for Voluntary Agencies.

The aim of these, and several other initiatives, is to increase the forest and tree cover over those areas of the country where it is less or negligent. This can be done with the help of afforestation and regeneration of degraded forests. We need to safeguard the remaining forests, wildlife and water resources. These schemes also aim at surveying of innumerable regions for identification of new species (conservation and protection of forests, rivers, biodiversity wetlands, wildlife and eco-sensitive zone) and prevention of contamination (air, water, noise and industrial pollution).

A better environmental governance is frantically needed today. However, to attain that we will have to get rid of the pile of corruption.

Earlier this year, the Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta busted an Indian Forest Service officer – divisional forest officer S K Palshi, and detained disproportionate assets worth over 30 crore rupees.

“We have recovered Rs 15 lakh cash, four cars, jewellery worth Rs 30 lakh. Some of the details of properties of the DFO are — houses and plots in Mandsaur, Neemuch, Ratlam, Indore and Bhopal, and an LPG agency in the name of his wife Ranjana Palshi,” said O.P. Sagoriya, district Superintendent of Police (Lokayukta), Ujjain in an interview to a newspaper.

On the other hand, Nagpur Deputy Conservator of Forests Deepak Bhatt was caught red handed with Rs 19.25 lakh for managing transfers of forest guards by Anti-Corruption Branch Deputy Superintendent of Police Sanjay Purandare, few months ago. Also, a Forest Department official was caught taking a bribe of Rs 1.50 lakh for illegal felling of trees by ACB.

 

If such things, like felling the trees for money, continue, then how do we expect to have a better green cover? Similarly, we always hear about illegal poaching of tigers, rhinos and elephants from reserves and jungles. This means that the forest department isn’t doing its job which, in return, cause irreversible damages to the habitat and ecology.

The natural habitat, as well as the climatic conditions in several areas, is on its way south. The only means to help us halt global warming or guard whatever is left is to work on generating greater awareness of corruption in the environs affiliated agencies. This logic couldn’t be more obvious. If the money to protect climate change will not support the required strategy than we all will be in serious trouble.

Corruption aggravates the effects and expenditures of climate change and thus hinders our capability to fight it.

The corruption in environmental supervisory constricts and weakens the efficiency of the administration systems. This is because corruption decreases the social and economic cost of implementing environment protection schemes. In a corrupt setting, actors prioritise personal profits at the cost of socially optimal consequences leading to the disaster of safeguarding the environment which inevitably contributes to climate change.

Corruption largely funds to the elimination of species, manipulation of natural resources, along with the pollution and degradation of ecologies and wildlife habitats, and spread of diseases and hostile species.

The biggest question here is do we have a strategy to keep a check on whether these agencies are achieving what they should?

Are, our local communities included in the construction of these environmental schemes, who are the biggest contributors to the ground level work in restoring the environment.

We the citizens of India need to focus are interests in the non-conventional zones of corruption. Political scams and industrial favours have become more common than religious festivals in India, hence, we need to correlate issues and understand their interdependence to develop better solutions to the life threating problems faced by us.

Climate change is of crucial importance to us as well as the world and the biggest hindrance in our way to find solutions is corruption. With time slipping out of our hand, we cannot afford to let our limited recourse go in vain.

When corruption seems to majorly affect the poor and middle class of India, with such delinquent pores in our conservational gambit no one is apart from its effects. This concern not only brings all Indian class and masses together but also forces us to pursue collaborative efforts as only the restriction in corruption can let us save the last strands of a healthy environment.

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Ex-Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif Indicted on Corruption Charges

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Muhammad Safdar, husband of Maryam Nawaz, daughter of ousted Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif, waves from a a vehicle as he arrives at an accountability court in Islamabad. VOA

Islamabad, October 19: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been indicted on corruption charges stemming from information taken from the so-called “Panama Papers.”

The country’s anti-corruption court indicted the 67-year-old Sharif during a hearing Thursday in Islamabad. His daughter Maryam and son-in-law Mohammed Safdar were also indicted. Maryam Sharif and Mohammed Safdar appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A lawyer for the elder Sharif, who is in London with his wife as she undergoes cancer treatment, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Maryam Sharif angrily dismissed the allegations as “baseless.”

Sharif was disqualified by Pakistan’s Supreme Court and removed from office in July after leaked documents last year from a Panama-based law firm revealed the family held a number of unreported overseas assets.(VOA)

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Journalist Behind the Panama Papers Killed in a Car Bomb

Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a "one-woman WikiLeaks".

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Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device. (Representative image) Pixabay

Valletta, October 17, 2017 : A journalist who led the Panama Papers probe into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her residence, the media reported.

Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device, reports the Guardian.

A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”.

Her latest revelations accused Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.

No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack, the Guardian reported.

Malta’s President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, called for calm. “In these moments, when the country is shocked by such a vicious attack, I call on everyone to measure their words, to not pass judgement and to show solidarity.”

ALSO READ Not Just Journalist Ram Chandra Chhatrapati, these 9 People too Bore the Brunt of Speaking Truth to Fight Corruption

In a statement, Muscat condemned the “barbaric attack”.

“Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine,” said Muscat, adding “Both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way.”

He announced in parliament later on Monday that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers were on their way to Malta to assist with the investigation, following his request for help from the US government.

According to local media reports, Caruana Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago to say that she had been receiving death threats.

The journalist posted her final blog on her Running Commentary website at 2.35 p.m. on Monday, and the explosion, which occurred near her home, was reported to police just after 3 p.m.

Over the last two years, her reporting had largely focused on revelations from the Panama Papers, a cache of 11.5 million documents leaked from the internal database of the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. (IANS)

 

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Amit Shah Rejects Allegation of Money Laundering on Son Jay Shah

"Where has money laundering been done? All the transactions happened through cheques and banks," claimed Amit Shah at an event.

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Amit Shah, BJP National President. Wikimedia

Ahmedabad, October 13, 2017 : Breaking his silence, BJP president Amit Shah rejected allegations of money laundering against his son Jay Shah whose company had reportedly recorded an extraordinary spike in business after the BJP came to power at the Centre, and asserted that it had not done any business with the government nor taken any kickbacks.

He also said that unlike the Congress, which had faced many corruption charges in the past, his son has shown courage to file a civil and criminal defamation suit on the allegations levelled against him and “invited a probe against himself” by this step.

“There is no money laundering involved in Jay’s company. This company is completely in commodity business, where turnover is more while the profit is less. We have exported bajra, corn and rice while coriander was imported. And after doing a turnover of Rs 80 crore, they don’t tell how much they made profit,” Amit Shah said at an “India Today” event “Gujarat Panchayat”.

Answering questions, he said that after making a turnover of Rs 80 crore, Jay made a loss of Rs 1.5 crore. “Where has money laundering been done? All the transactions happened through cheques and banks,” he said.

Asked about Jay Shah filing a defamation suit against the publication, Shah said: “Before answering your question I would like to ask you one thing. After Independence, how many corruption charges have been made against the Congress?

“Please understand this is not corruption. Many allegations of corruption were made against the Congress. Did it ever file a civil suit or defamation suit? No. Why they lacked such courage? Today Jay has filed a defamation as well as civil suit and is demanding a probe himself. Those who have the evidence can submit it to the court, and then the court will decide,” the BJP president said.

He said: “We have ourselves invited a probe and on the company issue I want to clarify that it has not done business with the government of even Re 1 nor taken any government land or tender. Neither has it received kickbacks as in the case of Bofors.”

When asked about Jay’s company securing unsecured loans, Shah said it was not unsecured loans. “It was a line of credit,” he added. (IANS)