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Five ways to reduce corruption

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“Merely shouting from the housetops that everybody is corrupt creates an atmosphere of corruption. People feel they are in a climate of corruption and they get corrupted themselves,” remarked Jawaharlal Nehru, shortly after India’s Independence and these words seem apt even today.

The following measures can be taken or, more so, should be taken to reduce corruption:

  • Education and awareness on corruption: First and foremost, education needs to be imparted among people about the issue of corruption and how it is engulfing the society. By education on corruption, it means that people should be empowered with information on issues that can lead to corruption. Education can play an integral part in reducing corruption. Corrupt officials often misinform (or hide information from) people and demand a bribe to help them through. One of the major reasons is being unaware of the laws, public rights and procedures hence such uneducated common people suffer the most out of corruption in the society. 
  • Proper compensation to government employees: Government employees should be paid in accordance of their work and conditions under which they work. For example, a traffic cop puts his life under threat every day as he/she can be targeted to an accident at any given point but the general mentality is such that he is looked at in similar lines with a regular cop or havaldar. And, the conditions under which our police forces work is not hidden to anyone. Especially in cities like Delhi where the pollution level are racing towards hazardous condition, these people need better pay to even remotely compensate for their regularly deteriorating health.
  • Transparency and accountability: Another big reason for the prevalent corruption is the lack of transparency and professional accountability in the system. We can’t regulate corruption until people individually take steps to be honest towards their profession, and if they do so, the corruption would automatically decrease. Attention needs to be given towards professional accountability as it can lead to improvement in the administration itself.
  • Legitimate autonomy and corporatisation: Legitimate autonomy should be given in public/government sector so that unnecessary interference from other sides, like politicians and bureaucrats etc, can be avoided. As PM Modi said during his speech at the recent HT Summit, that one of the best ways to bring professionalism in PSUs is to induce a corporate culture. The contract mechanism should be opened up outside the government premises with outsourcing and standards should be strictly implemented by those agencies. PSUs such as Air India, for instance, place huge contracts for various products and services. There is always a possibility of political leaders exercising their powers to swing agreement from the selected ones to get kickbacks. Thus, these intermediary powers would be removed from day-to-day functions.
  • Blacklisting the corrupt: Most importantly, anyone and everyone party to corruption should be ‘blacklisted’ across the public and private sectors. Employees caught indulging in corrupt activities or people bribing executives ought to be blacklisted for some specified period of time.

On the other hand, the definition of corruption also needs to be explained, specifically that of the not so obvious corruption in nature. Corruption has now become a part of our daily lives on minor as well as substantial ways. The not-so-obvious categories would be- inferior/less amount of material used for road contraction where one inch of tar is used as against the supposed four inches. As a result, the road disintegrates after one monsoon. There are a plethora of such subtle ways which the common public isn’t aware of even in the empowered age of RTI.

The awareness of the concept of corruption and how it prevails in the least expected place in a subtle way is more important than cognizance of the theory.

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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)