The Rs.18,1000 crores Coal Gate Scam, the Rs.17,6000 crores 2G Spectrum Scam, and the Rs.65000 crores Common Wealth Games (CWG) Scam are the biggest financial scams in independent India’s recorded history. Scams of smaller denominations (1000-10 crores) are on-going projects and the fastest channels to becoming “Bada Aadmi”. These so-called chhota (small) scams are so many that they appear like not-so-evident pock-marks on the body of a small-pox victim. Not possible to count. Keeping a record of them and probing them would, in all likelihood, be far more expensive than letting them go. But they do not become talk of the town. This could be because many persons of smaller denominations in all sectors are involved.
In 21st century India, 1 crore scam is no scam at all. What is 1 crore? You can not even get a middle–class 1BHK in a fairly good locality in the financial capital of India. But, 1 crore is big money for some one who is suffering from the vimari (sickness) called Imandari (honesty).
The total money involved in the above three scams put together add up to INR 42,2000crores or US$68.1 billions at the exchange rate of 1US$ = INR 62. If the above scam money would have been distributed equally among India’s population of 128 crores (India’s population was 1279.5 million in 2012 and the scam occurred around 2012-13), every person would have received INR 3300.
Taking a typical family size of five, amount every Indian family would have got works out to INR 16500. Now the point I want to make and emphasize here is: how many Indian families living, working in India and earning in Indian Rupees have monthly income of INR 16500 or more? According to data published in ‘India Today’ magazine (July 13, 2015), 677 million rural households survive on Rs.33 per day per person. This works out to earning less than Rs.5000/- per month. So the scam money could have been used to finance a family for more than 3 months and their savings would have been more during those three months. Alternatively, the family could have used that extra Rs.16000/- for renovating his house, purchasing goat, a calf or some poultry animals depending on his needs. 90% of Indian households have incomes less than Rs.10000/- per month. According to a Committee’s report, in 2007, 77% of India’s population was poor.
But the real big concerns of financial scams, big or mid-sized, are: No accurate evaluation of the impact of the scam money on our economy seems to have been made as of to-day. Depending on one’s political leanings, one’s likes and dislikes, reports are written and if the boss is pleased (bossko khush kiya) with the report, returns come in the form of Padma Awards, to say the least. With so many economic and/or financial advisers in Delhi, should it take so long to come out with reliable figures and findings on this subject? No one person, agency or the government machine, has told the nation (Bharat Mahan), to the best of my knowledge and belief, where the money has gone? Let the government first eradicate the prevailing corruptions in co-operative housing societies before retrieving the scam money. 6 months to 1 year, 1 year to 2 years and like this time will pass and very little will be done. Reason for this: law is an ass and the public (here used as a collective singular noun) is helpless.
By Dr.Sachidanand Das
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