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Oracle
21 May 14,, 18:22
KATHMANDU: South Asia is the world's most corrupt region and rampant corruption is preventing its people from breaking the barrier of poverty despite the fact that the subcontinent has attained strong economic growth over the past several years, a global anti-graft watchdog said here today.

"South Asia now is the worst region in the world when it comes to corruption based on our studies," said Srirak Pilpat, Asia Pacific director at Transparency International (TI), while releasing a report titled 'Fighting Corruption in South Asia: Building Accountability'.

"How does a region with such strong economic growth still have such high levels of poverty? It is corruption, which allows the few to profit without answering for their actions," said Pilpat.

"As long as nobody brings the corrupt to justice, South Asia's leaders run the risk that future growth only benefits the powerful, doing nothing to help the half billion South Asians, who still live in poverty," he pointed out.

Governments in corruption-stricken South Asia must allow anti-graft agencies to investigate and prosecute corruption independently, TI said in the first comprehensive study on transparency and corruption prevention in the region.

The TI report analysed how well 70 national institutions in Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka stop corruption.

In South Asian countries, government and people who want to expose and investigate corruption face legal barriers, political opposition and harassment that allow bribery, secret dealings and the abuse of power to go unchecked, the report warned.

According to TI, Nepal improved from 139th position in 2012 to 116th in 2013 out of 177 countries surveyed in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) made public today.

Despite economic growth averaging 6 per cent a year over the past two decades in the sub-continent, 31 per cent of people live on less than $1.25 a day, according to a World Bank report.

"Corruption in public bodies that should provide basic services to the poor means that economic growth is only enjoyed by the few," points out the report.

In Nepal, corruption in government organisations remained uncontrolled due to political interference, the TI Nepal chapter said.

"Governments will find transparency is the best investment they will ever make. Ordinary people can ensure their communities are served by governments, whistleblowers can save billions by exposing fraud," remarked Pilpat.

According to the TI report, 90 per cent of Nepalese believe that political parties are corrupt or extremely corrupt and 85 per cent consider public officials and public servants to be corrupt or extremely corrupt.

Interestingly, 72 per cent believe that corruption in the country has increased over last two years.

EconomicTimes (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/business/corruption-negating-economic-growth-in-south-asia-transparency-international/articleshow/35439231.cms)

Oracle
21 May 14,, 18:25
Indian posters, please discuss the topic. Do not troll and make it a BJP/Modi idol worshiping thread.

Double Edge
21 May 14,, 22:54
South Asia is the world's most corrupt region and rampant corruption is preventing its people from breaking the barrier of poverty despite the fact that the subcontinent has attained strong economic growth over the past several years, a global anti-graft watchdog said here today.
The concluded elections cost up to $5 billion.

Where do you think the money came from.

could it be that what is popularly referred to as 'corruption' is actually the way we fund our democracy.

if 'corruption' has risen of late, is it possible that it is becoming more expensive to win an election.

Doktor
21 May 14,, 22:57
DE,

Elections are to be paid trough taxes. I believe they are paid that way, not with the bribe politicos got.

Double Edge
21 May 14,, 23:05
The money they can legally use for elections is no where near what it really costs to run a successful campaign. So there is the legal amount and the unaccounted part. The latter is what i'm referring to.

The legal limit is set low so everybody can take part otherwise only the well heeled will be able to do it. In many ways that's how its turning out to be but the govt isn't assisting the process.

if you want to solve this corruption problem then we need to find alternative ways to fund elections that are in line with actual costs.

sated buddha
22 May 14,, 06:51
Indian posters, please discuss the topic. Do not troll and make it a BJP/Modi idol worshiping thread.

What does a Nepal-centric article from Kathmandu have to do with India (or Indian posters) in the first place?

Are you a recently traumatized chicken little running around fearing the sky is going to fall on your head here?

Talk about paraanoia.

Doktor
22 May 14,, 07:07
The money they can legally use for elections is no where near what it really costs to run a successful campaign. So there is the legal amount and the unaccounted part. The latter is what i'm referring to.

The legal limit is set low so everybody can take part otherwise only the well heeled will be able to do it. In many ways that's how its turning out to be but the govt isn't assisting the process.

if you want to solve this corruption problem then we need to find alternative ways to fund elections that are in line with actual costs.

DE,

$5bn sounds legit amount for organizing elections for 800mn people on a vast territory like India. Here they cost $4-6 per capita.

If you said the parties campaign costed that much, then I see your point. How much they get back per received vote?

Oracle
22 May 14,, 07:17
What does a Nepal-centric article from Kathmandu have to do with India (or Indian posters) in the first place?

Are you a recently traumatized chicken little running around fearing the sky is going to fall on your head here?

Talk about paraanoia.

As expected. :rolleyes:


DE,

$5bn sounds legit amount for organizing elections for 800mn people on a vast territory like India. Here they cost $4-6 per capita.

If you said the parties campaign costed that much, then I see your point. How much they get back per received vote?

DE, probably has better figures. Look at this way - an MP gets 5 crores/year as development funds. In 5 years that is 25 crores. Then there are various projects under an MP, that has a signing (bribe) amount. The quickest way to riches in SE Asia is to become a politician. Most of these black money goes to party funds.

Oracle
22 May 14,, 07:22
DE,

Elections are to be paid trough taxes. I believe they are paid that way, not with the bribe politicos got.

Dok, the bribe money is used to buy votes. BJP candidate in my constituency paid Rs. 5K per vote. Yes, and he won that seat.

sated buddha
22 May 14,, 07:30
Dok, the bribe money is used to buy votes. BJP candidate in my constituency paid Rs. 5K per vote. Yes, and he won that seat.

You forgot the dancing girls and year's supply of single malt that was thrown in to sweeten the deal.

antimony
22 May 14,, 07:55
As expected. :rolleyes:



DE, probably has better figures. Look at this way - an MP gets 5 crores/year as development funds. In 5 years that is 25 crores. Then there are various projects under an MP, that has a signing (bribe) amount. The quickest way to riches in SE Asia is to become a politician. Most of these black money goes to party funds.

I don;t see why Legislators should be given money for development in the first place. Of course, many MPs/ MLA use that to do small infra projects that cause more harm than good.

In my parents constituency, I have seen this money being used to fund hearses to take the dead to the ghat, and roadside water taps, which are then used by the locals to bathe and wash clothes. It eliminates the hassle of actually providing water in the homes.

Oracle
22 May 14,, 08:06
You forgot the dancing girls and year's supply of single malt that was thrown in to sweeten the deal.

Wow! I didn't knew about that. Thank you for sharing this information on how low some of the BJP politicians can get.


I don;t see why Legislators should be given money for development in the first place. Of course, many MPs/ MLA use that to do small infra projects that cause more harm than good.

In my parents constituency, I have seen this money being used to fund hearses to take the dead to the ghat, and roadside water taps, which are then used by the locals to bathe and wash clothes. It eliminates the hassle of actually providing water in the homes.

I agree. But then what is the solution? Who should money be given to? All in all, it is more of an accountability issue.

A small story. The year I graduated, a local guy asked me if I can provide him a xerox copy of my degree certificate. He was willing to pay 20K. So you know, fresh outta college, and joining time of the Company some months away, greed overtook my honest intentions. I talked to my Dad, and got to know that the guy got some projects worth crores under PMGSY (Prime Minister's Gram Sadak Yojana). And he advised me not to be greedy as if and when there is a central audit, I might get in trouble. I thank my luck stars for the good decision I made. And yeah, the roads are on paper, not on the ground.

Gram - Village; Sadak - Road; Yojana - Policy.

sated buddha
22 May 14,, 08:14
Wow! I didn't knew about that. Thank you for sharing this information on how low some of the BJP politicians can get.

Oh come on, don't act innocent man. You voted BJP. Where do you have the girls stashed away?


I agree. But then what is the solution? Who should money be given to? All in all, it is more of an accountability issue.

A small story. The year I graduated, a local guy asked me if I can provide him a xerox copy of my degree certificate. He was willing to pay 20K. So you know, fresh outta college, and joining time of the Company some months away, greed overtook my honest intentions. I talked to my Dad, and got to know that the guy got some projects worth crores under PMGSY (Prime Minister's Gram Sadak Yojana). And he advised me not to be greedy as if and when there is a central audit, I might get in trouble. I thank my luck stars for the good decision I made. And yeah, the roads are on paper, not on the ground.

Gram - Village; Sadak - Road; Yojana - Policy.

Your dad was right. There is no free lunch in this world. There is no substitute to hard work. And one cannot put a price to a good night's sleep.

Road contracts, like coal and slag and sand, are not for everybody. Those like you (and me and most of us here) would be chewed and spat out like paan pichkari (beetle nut juice).

Hope you wisened up, learned your lesson, and in turn would pass it along.

Double Edge
22 May 14,, 08:39
DE,

$5bn sounds legit amount for organizing elections for 800mn people on a vast territory like India. Here they cost $4-6 per capita.

If you said the parties campaign costed that much, then I see your point. How much they get back per received vote?
It does not stop with national elections. Then there are state elections for 29 states.

Up to 1971 state elections and nationals ran roughly the same year, but Indira staggered things after. So earlier money spent by parties would go towards both. Now state elections for most states will not fall at the same time as a national.

And finally there are the panchayat (village council) elections for the 500k villages dotted around the country. Starts to add up.

If its any reason that democracies are a 20th century phenomenon its because they are not cheap and take resources to sustain.

Legal amounts acceptable to run as a MLA for state is around 28 lakhs and for parliament its double that. It will be difficult to win a state election with less than 2 crores (9 times the legal amount). A lot of the money taken under the table gets circulated back into the economy. Of course politicians and their families do well for themselves so long as they can win elections.


Dok, the bribe money is used to buy votes. BJP candidate in my constituency paid Rs. 5K per vote. Yes, and he won that seat.
That's a trivial case. Consider corporates that expect windfall profits in exchange to fund a campaign. In the west corporate lobbying is legal, the result is a handful of parties that have a chance at acually winning an election so the choice gets considerably reduced.

I don't think that will work in countries with very diverse backgrounds. Not yet anyway. Regional parties may have taken a drubbing in this year's nationals but they are down not out.

Politicians with criminal cases stacked against them are self funding candidates and the public actually goes for them because they are considered as more charismatic and might actually get the job done.

Take the 2G 'scam'. Govt sells of spectrum for cheap which means cheaper airtime for us right ? No! what a stink was created, licenses were cancelled and had to be acquired again.

I don't buy the premise of the opening article, that so called corruption is affecting us. What affects economic growth is the inability to enact clear policy. Nobody wants to invest in an uncertain climate. Where what is said today may change tomorrow. Reducing barriers of entry for business. Making it easier.

Oracle
23 May 14,, 05:48
I don't buy the premise of the opening article, that so called corruption is affecting us. What affects economic growth is the inability to enact clear policy. Nobody wants to invest in an uncertain climate. Where what is said today may change tomorrow. Reducing barriers of entry for business. Making it easier.

Interesting POV. I agree that when the economy is on an upswing, hardly anyone talks about corruption.

antimony
23 May 14,, 06:34
I don't buy the premise of the opening article, that so called corruption is affecting us. What affects economic growth is the inability to enact clear policy. Nobody wants to invest in an uncertain climate. Where what is said today may change tomorrow. Reducing barriers of entry for business. Making it easier.

DE.,

Corruption also adds to entry barriers. suppose you want to set up a factory. You would have 20 power brokers hounding you promising to either open or close doors for your based on how much you grease their palms. Aside from the ethical considerations, they would pose a significant business risk. They obviously do not have a price list, so how much you pay is based on how you negotiate. They may not actually have the power to open the doors they claim, so much of your payout would be lost. Also, if word gets out, you can be in serious trouble, especially if you are a public company.

Conclusion: corruption slows down business

antimony
23 May 14,, 06:41
Wow! I didn't knew about that. Thank you for sharing this information on how low some of the BJP politicians can get.



I agree. But then what is the solution? Who should money be given to? All in all, it is more of an accountability issue.

A small story. The year I graduated, a local guy asked me if I can provide him a xerox copy of my degree certificate. He was willing to pay 20K. So you know, fresh outta college, and joining time of the Company some months away, greed overtook my honest intentions. I talked to my Dad, and got to know that the guy got some projects worth crores under PMGSY (Prime Minister's Gram Sadak Yojana). And he advised me not to be greedy as if and when there is a central audit, I might get in trouble. I thank my luck stars for the good decision I made. And yeah, the roads are on paper, not on the ground.

Gram - Village; Sadak - Road; Yojana - Policy.

This reminds me of that movie "Well Done Abba", only it was about a bawdi (stepwell) instead of a road.

Why should we give money to MPs. what is the PWD there for. what is the District and block administrations there for ? this whole MP fund is a ticket for waste and corruption. MPs should be chosen by what they do in Parliament on behalf of their constituents, not by how many ill conceived stepwells they set up or how many hearses they buy for their favourite clubs

Oracle
23 May 14,, 07:21
This reminds me of that movie "Well Done Abba", only it was about a bawdi (stepwell) instead of a road.

Why should we give money to MPs. what is the PWD there for. what is the District and block administrations there for ? this whole MP fund is a ticket for waste and corruption. MPs should be chosen by what they do in Parliament on behalf of their constituents, not by how many ill conceived stepwells they set up or how many hearses they buy for their favourite clubs

Okay, but what then should be the portfolio of an MP? He has to do something right?

Probably, this is what I think - an MP gets elected. He gets the administration of his constituency together and takes stock of works (pending and ongoing). He then liaisons between the administration and the Central Government in bringing funds for development works. Is this what you're saying?

And 5 crore/year is too little for actual development to happen on the ground.

Oracle
23 May 14,, 07:23
DE.,

Corruption also adds to entry barriers. suppose you want to set up a factory. You would have 20 power brokers hounding you promising to either open or close doors for your based on how much you grease their palms. Aside from the ethical considerations, they would pose a significant business risk. They obviously do not have a price list, so how much you pay is based on how you negotiate. They may not actually have the power to open the doors they claim, so much of your payout would be lost. Also, if word gets out, you can be in serious trouble, especially if you are a public company.

Conclusion: corruption slows down business

I had this is mind, and then it fade away. This is exactly the case.

Bigfella
23 May 14,, 07:35
DE.,

Corruption also adds to entry barriers. suppose you want to set up a factory. You would have 20 power brokers hounding you promising to either open or close doors for your based on how much you grease their palms. Aside from the ethical considerations, they would pose a significant business risk. They obviously do not have a price list, so how much you pay is based on how you negotiate. They may not actually have the power to open the doors they claim, so much of your payout would be lost. Also, if word gets out, you can be in serious trouble, especially if you are a public company.

Conclusion: corruption slows down business

I was thinking along similar lines, though you were more eloquent. 'Corruption' isn't just one thing or one type of thing. It is many. It exists in every system to some extent, but takes different forms. Politicians talking bribes/awarding contracts & jobs to favourites & 'pork barelling' of some type are fairly widespread, though differ in extent from nation to nation. What appears less common in western nations at least is bribes working almost as a form of 'taxation' at every stage of the process. I won't say it doesn't happen, but it isn't common. This type of corruption is extremely damaging economically, as you say, because it adds to costs and uncertainty of doing business. It also undermines rule of law, which is fundamental for doing business.

antimony
23 May 14,, 15:37
Okay, but what then should be the portfolio of an MP? He has to do something right?

Probably, this is what I think - an MP gets elected. He gets the administration of his constituency together and takes stock of works (pending and ongoing). He then liaisons between the administration and the Central Government in bringing funds for development works. Is this what you're saying?

And 5 crore/year is too little for actual development to happen on the ground.

Actually that is not a terrible idea. He can act as a monitor for projects and push them along when they get stuck. You might want to write to the media channels (like NDTV) about this. I am not joking

antimony
23 May 14,, 15:44
I was thinking along similar lines, though you were more eloquent. 'Corruption' isn't just one thing or one type of thing. It is many. It exists in every system to some extent, but takes different forms. Politicians talking bribes/awarding contracts & jobs to favourites & 'pork barelling' of some type are fairly widespread, though differ in extent from nation to nation. What appears less common in western nations at least is bribes working almost as a form of 'taxation' at every stage of the process. I won't say it doesn't happen, but it isn't common. This type of corruption is extremely damaging economically, as you say, because it adds to costs and uncertainty of doing business. It also undermines rule of law, which is fundamental for doing business.


BF,

This is the curse of corruption in India, the common man gets hit. This comes at all levels. Suppose you want to build a house, the local "club" (basically pseudo local gang) insists that you buy material from them, or else. You apply for permits and of course you have to grease some palms unless you want your file to be stuck around for years. It works the other way too. You want to get a driving license but are actually not too keen on driving. The right pieces of silver in the right hands can get you a spanking new license without the inconvenience of actually learning to drive.

Its all very, for the lack of better word, small scale. but it tends to add up and is a major annoyance. More importantly, for someone who cannot afford these taxes, life becomes a hassle.

Oracle
23 May 14,, 18:08
Actually that is not a terrible idea. He can act as a monitor for projects and push them along when they get stuck. You might want to write to the media channels (like NDTV) about this. I am not joking

Why would NDTV listen to me? I am a nobody buddy. Maybe, they'd listen to you. They always do from people outside the country. And I'm not kidding.

antimony
23 May 14,, 18:45
Why would NDTV listen to me? I am a nobody buddy. Maybe, they'd listen to you. They always do from people outside the country. And I'm not kidding.

I thought they took calls on some of the broad based talk shows where they discuss policy with the audience. Unfrunately, we do not get NDTV here, especially since I refuse to subscribe to cable

Oracle
24 May 14,, 05:59
I thought they took calls on some of the broad based talk shows where they discuss policy with the audience. Unfrunately, we do not get NDTV here, especially since I refuse to subscribe to cable

They do, but those views hardly reach the intended audience i.e. the policy makers. Most talk shows comprises of people who have excelled in their respective fields. E.g. Mahroof Raza, who is invited on Pakistani topics. I do not have the credentials for them to listen to me. I'll have 30 secs to put my view across, i.e if the anchors do not do an Arnab on me.

Since we are talking about corruption, how about a retirement age for politicians too? And how about they too save & invest like the most of us post retirement? I guess I'm asking for change too soon.

bolo121
24 May 14,, 15:44
Since we are talking about corruption, how about a retirement age for politicians too? And how about they too save & invest like the most of us post retirement? I guess I'm asking for change too soon.

This is one of my dreams. Mandatory retirement at the age of 60 for all politicians.
Plus rigorous appraisals each year they are in office by a powerful neutral evaluation organization which then releases ratings to the public.

After all us ordinary employees get harassed and second guessed on every single thing we do each year, the representatives we the people send to high office should be scrutinized even more

bolo121
24 May 14,, 15:46
I thought they took calls on some of the broad based talk shows where they discuss policy with the audience. Unfrunately, we do not get NDTV here, especially since I refuse to subscribe to cable

Believe me its no loss. They have become more and more left leaning over the years.
Barkha Dutt is extremely irritating. You might accidentally blast the tv with one of your handguns.

Double Edge
25 May 14,, 03:08
DE.,

Corruption also adds to entry barriers. suppose you want to set up a factory. You would have 20 power brokers hounding you promising to either open or close doors for your based on how much you grease their palms. Aside from the ethical considerations, they would pose a significant business risk. They obviously do not have a price list, so how much you pay is based on how you negotiate. They may not actually have the power to open the doors they claim, so much of your payout would be lost. Also, if word gets out, you can be in serious trouble, especially if you are a public company.

Conclusion: corruption slows down business
Rent seeking by the state. Common in developing countries.

All those barriers erected in an earlier era for the state to control/interfere at many points. There was also a lot of the self-reliance mantra going on too. Don't make it easy for foreigners to ever get a foothold again. Over play self-reliance and you end up with an autarchy.

Works at extracting tolls in a captive market. Has the opposite effect when capital controls are reduced.