The India against Corruption (IAC) movement came into public glare under social activist Anna Hazare in 2011. It was a result of the average Middle Class’s exasperation at being denied the fruits of development by a corrupt system in which rigor-mortis had set in. The movement was usurped by Kejriwal, an erstwhile officer of the India Revenue Service.
A year ago, AAP (a party founded by Kejriwal) won the Delhi election, with an assumed halo of righteousness, and bombastic rhetoric against corruption. The party and its leader has since been embroiled in an allegation of serious corruption.
Shi Narendra Modi became prime minister with a goal to serve the nation. He made the fight against corruption his USP. Instead of high-flying rhetoric, he has taken the following concrete steps to fight corruption:-
- His first cabinet decision was the formation of SIT to fight black money & corruption
- His government started online auction of coal blocks after SC cancels all the coal block allocations made by UPA.
- Interview for grade-3 and grade-4 central government jobs, had become a major source of corruption where only those who could bribe the senior officials on interview panels could be selected. He took a decision to do away interviews for these posts.
- The Mauritius route accounted for 35% of overall black money investment in India. He put an end to Mauritius route of black money laundering by signing a bilateral treaty signed with Mauritius.
- He raised the issue of ending safe tax havens in Europe and other countries in G20 meeting and all the major countries of G20 agreed to wage a war on money laundering, black money.
- The Benaami (Transactions) Act amended and notified after 18 years.
- A bold decision to ban Currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination and replace them with new notes was taken. This put a brake on counterfeiting of currency, terror funding.
- As a result of PM Modi’s persistent diplomacy, Switzerland signed a historical treaty to share all real-time financial transaction details with India. Singapore route of black money routing was also blocked, as India and Singapore sign the double taxation treaty
- Political funding to the parties by cash was decreased from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000.
- GST, a simplified tax system was introduced to eliminate the role of toll post and put a check on bribery and corruption.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has taken further steps to end corruption by holding transparent auctions for public contracts, putting many government services online.
In 1985, the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi remarked that only 15 paise of every rupee meant for the welfare of the downtrodden reaches them.A biometric ID programme named Aadhaar has been successfully used by Modi government to end this problem.
Aadhaar uses fingerprints and iris scans to generate a unique national identity number for every Indian. More than one billion Indians have been enlisted. Those with Aadhaar numbers can now collect government pensions or scholarships, or receive banking services without paying any bribe.
A Forbes article recently praised Modi’s work with this words:- “But don’t let Modi’s conduct at the White House fool you. They were not frivolous; nor is he. He knows full well that his work is cut out for him in trying to overhaul a supremely complex, multi-layered, and largely still ossified economy that has not been subjected to any serious systemic reform by an Indian leader during our lifetimes.”
Modi is certainly the Messiah that Indian middle class has been looking for a long time to make resurgent India a corruption free country.
By Amartya Talukdar