Libmonster ID: UK-1378
Author(s) of the publication: MS SLONSKAYA

MS SLONSKAYA

Bachelor of MGIMO (U) of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Key words: India, corruption, colonial and postcolonial periods, national traditions, officialdom, anti-corruption legislation

Simple proclamations that everyone around us is corrupt create an atmosphere of corruption. People feel that there is corruption around them, and they start doing the same.

Jawaharlal Nehru 1

Today, India is not just the largest democracy in the world, with more than 1.2 billion people living in it, according to the World Bank. person 2. India is a powerful economic center, demonstrating high annual GDP growth rates in the 2000s, significantly exceeding the corresponding indicator of developed countries and world growth rates (see Table).

However, economic growth has recently slowed down and, according to the IMF's forecasts, amounted to only 5.4% of GDP in 2014 (in 2015, it is likely to exceed 6%), 3 which, according to some estimates, is not enough for a rapidly developing state. The main competitor of India for leadership in the Asian region, and in the future, in the world as a whole - China - has long maintained the growth rate of the national economy in the region of 8-9% of GDP, and in some years they exceeded 10% (in 2007 it reached the highest rate - 14.2%). In other words, China has a significant advantage over its neighbor, thanks to which industrial production is growing faster there, the inflow of investment into the economy is increasing, the standard of living of the population is improving, etc.

Negative trends in the Indian economy are the result of various factors, including both internal ones, such as inefficient regulation of many sectors of the national economy, and external ones - the general slowdown in the global economy, falling prices for exported goods, insufficient inflow of foreign investment, etc.

But the truly catastrophic phenomenon that covers all spheres of economic life is corruption, which has recently become more and more widespread, becoming a real disaster that affects not only a number of sectors of the economy, but also the entire life of society.

Acute problems such as poverty, low levels of education, and lack of access to clean water4, electricity, and other amenities necessary for a normal life are not quickly resolved, largely due to the strong corruption of public and private institutions.

IMPRESSIVE SCALE OF ABUSE

According to some estimates, about half of the funds that were supposed to go to various programs to improve the quality of life end up in the pockets of numerous officials and businessmen.5 And this is at a time when, according to recent data, about 270 million people live below the poverty line. 6 25% of the population - about 300 million-do not have access to electricity, 7 and more than 100 million people do not have access to clean water. 8 The sanitary and hygienic living conditions of more than half of the Indians - about 800 million people-do not meet international standards.

Every year, Indians spend about 6 trillion rupees - about $100 billion. - for "unofficial payments" to government officials (in other words, bribes) to obtain driver's licenses, birth and death certificates, passports, etc.

Table

India's GDP growth rate compared to other regions, 2000-2014 (%)

 

2000-2010

2000

2005

2007

2009

2012

2013

2014

India

7,9

4

9,3

9,8

8,5

3,2

4,4

5,4

Developed countries

1,7

3,8

2,6

2,5

-3,7

1,3

1,3

2,2

World

2,8

4,3

3,7

4

-2,1

2,3

3

3,7



Составлено по: http://unctadstat.unctad.org/TableViewer/tableView.aspx; http://www.imf.org/external/russian/ pubs/ft/weo/2014/update/01/pdf/0114r.pdf

page 28

Figure 1. The degree of corruption of various institutions in India, 2011 and 2013

Corruption affects a fairly large part of the population of India. According to research by the non-governmental international organization Transparency International, 27% of the world's population has resorted to paying a bribe at least once in the last 12 months when applying to state institutions. In India, this figure exceeds 50%9.

The most corrupt entities, as in many other countries, are political parties, which in theory should be the most transparent institutions. Meanwhile, 86% of respondents to various surveys described them as susceptible to corruption. The second place was taken by the police (75%), and the third place was shared between official officials and legislative bodies (65%). For educational institutions, the corresponding figure was 61%, for the judicial system-45%. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and military structures were the least corrupt (see figure 1).

62% of respondents said that they paid a bribe when contacting the police, 61% - with the authorities responsible for registration and issuing permits, 48% - in relation to educational institutions, 36% - the judiciary. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2014 India is ranked 85th out of 174 countries. At the same time, more than half of those living in the country believe that the situation with corruption in the country has worsened over the past two years. This is indeed confirmed by the data obtained by the organization mentioned above (see diagram 1).

At the same time, Indians refer to corruption not only directly giving a bribe to an official. About 2/3 of respondents believe that personal contacts and connections also help to achieve the desired 11.

In terms of confidence in the government, India ranks 115th out of 143 countries. 12 40% of respondents believe that the country is run by a small group of people who are interested not in the prosperity of the state, but in the implementation and achievement of their own selfish goals. In this regard, the state cannot and does not want to fight corruption, and all measures taken by the authorities to eliminate it are not effective enough.

There are objective reasons for these statements: in the lower house of Parliament, the Lok Sabha, formed after the 2014 elections, about 30% of members have a criminal past. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is currently in power, has the largest percentage, and even the Common Man's Party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP - AAP), which positions itself as a party designed to fight corruption, with 16% of those who won seats in the Lok Sabha. once judged 13.

THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC SITUATION IS ALARMING

As noted above, corruption covers almost all spheres of public life. "Corruption in the form it exists in India undermines institutional development," says Jagdish Bhagwati, a member of the International Affairs Committee.14 Its effect on the respiratory system-

page 29

Figure 2. FDI inflows to the Indian economy, 2001-2013 ($billion).

Compiled by: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.KLT.DINV.CD.WD?page=2

government, law enforcement, and judicial institutions negatively affect the level of literacy and education (75% of educational institutions run by politicians do not meet quality standards, which is why Indians, after receiving an education, often cannot find a job), health care (7% of medicines are fake), and overall well-being (14% of Indian citizens lost their property due to illegal actions of thieves or political figures)15. Huge public funds that were supposed to go to the education of a layer of educated, highly professional Indians are being wasted.

Poverty and hunger are still acute problems in India, but according to some estimates, about 20 million tons of wheat are lost every year only because of the insufficiently developed infrastructure in the storage and transportation of grain. 16 Proper conditions in this area are not possible due to the high level of corruption of officials in relevant departments.

Unsatisfactory development of small and medium-sized businesses, a large number of restrictions and obstacles faced by "small", "medium" and even large entrepreneurs - all this leads to the fact that more than 70% of businessmen pay bribes to politicians to open a business, as well as to obtain appropriate permits or conceal any illegal or semi-legal activities. trading and other operations.

Corruption is also widespread in foreign economic activity. It leads to a worsening investment climate and the reluctance of many foreign entrepreneurs to invest in the Indian economy.17 First of all, this applies to infrastructure projects, i.e. to creating conditions for the operation of urban industrial enterprises and for the development of rural farms. According to the Indian newspaper The Economic Times, from the beginning of 2015 to March 2017. India needs about $1 trillion of investment 18 to implement infrastructure projects such as the construction of ports, airports, roads, as well as to give the entire economy a powerful impetus for further development. However, the necessary conditions for foreign capital investment and activities of foreign companies in the Indian market have not only not improved, but even worsened recently. This is also evidenced by the decline in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the country's economy in recent years, compared with their growth in the early 2000s (see Figure 2), the lack of sufficient capital inflows to the national economy of India, and the outflow of funds. Thus, the illegal outflow of capital from the country over the past period has averaged about $52 billion. in the year 19.

WHAT WORRIES INVESTORS

Mauritius ranks first in the list of major investors in the Indian economy (37% of all attracted FDI). In the period from April 2000 to January 2014, the volume of foreign direct investment from this country amounted to almost $80 billion. Singapore is second, followed by the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and the United States.

This is a reflection of the fact that Mauritius (along with Singapore) plays an offshore role for Indian companies. According to some estimates, the volume of offshore Indian capital is from $100 billion. up to $150 billion 20. Recently, the country has been discussing the issue of introducing measures to stop this process, since it is to some extent disastrous for the Indian national economy, since large amounts of money flow away without bringing benefits to the state, and this is largely possible due to corruption.

Corruption in India began quite a long time ago - in the pre - colonial period-and flourished later in the colonial era. However, at that time it was perceived as a certain characteristic feature inherent in the system that had developed in the colony. Many British proteges from among the local elite, who were responsible for maintaining law and order, as well as collecting taxes, could charge a kind of "commission" - "dusturi" - to accept "gifts" called "dali". Most of the colonial authorities believed that corruption was a permanent part of Eastern society in general and Indian society in particular.

page 30

The first coordinated steps to fight corruption were taken in the late 1930s, when India was still dominated by the British. The Indian National Congress (INC) Party opposed its declared democratic principles to the "corrupt system of colonial despotism."21. The "congressional" Governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh also sought to present themselves as a viable alternative to the existing system. Since 1941, a special police unit has been operating to counter acts of corruption. In March 1947, the Indian Government passed the Prevention of Corruption Act. This document was intended to "clean up" the administration and became the basis for the emergence of protest movements focused on fighting corruption.

CORRUPTION HAS A NEW QUALITY

However, in 1947, after India gained independence, the free State took over the system that had been developing over the years, which had existed in the colonial era. Independence did not bring relief from the problems inherent in British rule in India, and some even worsened.

Milan Vaishnava, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in the United States, says:: "Corruption in India is thousands of years old, but it has changed a lot. Over the past 20 years, there has been a transition to large-scale corruption: we have never encountered scandals of the scale and size that we have had to deal with recently. And the reason for this is the dynamic development of India. Rapid growth has provided new opportunities for illegal profits. " 22 According to research conducted by KPMG*, 68% of the capital that left India illegally occurred after 1991.23

An important feature of the Indian economy during the independent period of development, which largely predetermined its entire further evolution, was the licensing system (raj licenses). Its essence lies in the fact that for any actions related to the purchase of raw materials, equipment, opening branches, expanding the company - everything must be licensed. This was done in order to limit the monopolization of industries and protect national production, as well as to preserve the foreign currency needed to pay for imports in the national economy. But since this process, which involved a long and painful red tape, was often delayed for a long time, production was often slowed down, and there were almost no opportunities to develop. As the Council on Foreign Relations notes, "... the institution of licenses and permits has become a source of corruption on a massive scale. " 24

The policy aimed at restricting the inflow of foreign capital and imported goods, banning the export of Indian investments and, as a result, restricting competition from foreign companies (formally, to support the national industry) - all this, along with positive results, created many obstacles for enterprising Indians. In the pursuit of greater profits, due to the desire to invest in production abroad, Indians began to resort to semi-legal and illegal methods of exporting capital. A phenomenon called "capital flight" has emerged. Indian economists, comparing this period with the colonial era, call it the time of the "rule of licenses" by analogy with the British rule.

Anita Pratap, a former correspondent for the Indian newspaper Time, noted that since the 1970s, no government has seriously addressed the problem of corruption, 25 because the authorities themselves benefited from it, which caused India to lose huge funds that could have been invested in the country's development. In the 1980s, a corruption scandal broke out: according to the charges, the Swedish arms company Bofors paid huge bribes to many Indian and foreign companies to sign a trade agreement with the government of Rajiv Gandhi, who was in power in 1984 - 1984. Opposition INC parties accused leading Congress leaders Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi of being involved in this corrupt deal, largely because of this in 1989. Inc. lost the election.

Since the early 1990s, the Indian economy has been gradually "opening up to the world", which has provided new opportunities for deceptive schemes and mechanisms, and the number of scandalous court cases has increased. Privatization and public-private partnerships spread widely in many business areas and immediately became targets of corruption.

Since 2008, a scandal with telecommunications companies has been dragging on: 122 licenses covering a third of the entire 2G * * area were owned by only 8 companies. In 2012, the Supreme Court of India revoked these licenses. As a result, the Minister of Telecommunications ended up in prison. However, many experts argue that there are not enough mechanisms to control the implementation of anti-corruption schemes. Over the past 3 years, only 25 civil servants were investigated for involvement in corruption, but none of them lost their posts.26

Shortly after the above-mentioned case, which resulted in mass protests in Delhi, the Coalgate scandal broke out, revealing the negative aspects of the Indian economy and political system, and this time affecting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself (he was in this post until 2014, when he was replaced by BJP leader Narendra Modi). Modi). It turned out that some representatives of the business community, as well as politicians,


* KPMG is one of the largest networks providing professional, including audit services. author's note).

** 2G - the second generation of wireless phone technology (author's note).

page 31

those with government connections illegally managed to obtain the right to develop undeveloped coal deposits.27

SCANDAL AFTER SCANDAL...

According to former Supreme Court justice Santosh Hedge, who conducted an investigation into another similar scandal in the south of the country, "...today, politicians in India have such power that together they can completely plunder the country. " 28 Such scandals demonstrate the complete inability (and unwillingness) of the government to deal with existing problems. But if this was not considered important during periods of strong economic growth, now, given the slowdown in the economy, according to many analysts, the country simply cannot afford to have a government that does not fulfill its promises in such a blatant way.29

In the early 2000s, Indian leaders set a goal to provide electricity to the entire population of the country by 2012. This was supposed to be done through the construction of thermal power plants (TPPs) throughout the country. However, this has not yet been done. The coal industry scandal has only worsened the situation in the energy sector, while" ... the inability to produce enough electricity, "says Pravin Chakravarty, head of Anand Rathi Financial Services," is one of the main factors hindering economic growth. " 30

In 2010, the head of the Indian anti-corruption Authority, P. J. Thomas, was forced to leave his post due to corruption charges against him. In the same year, many officials responsible for hosting the Commonwealth Games were arrested for alleged financial fraud. According to some estimates, hosting these Games cost the country $4.1 billion. instead of the previously estimated $270 million 31.

STORMS IN PARLIAMENT AND BEYOND

Many people remember the unrest in the Indian Parliament in 2011 after the infamous Wikileaks website published information that a number of parliamentarians received significant amounts of money in order to vote on a vote of confidence in 2008. they cast their votes in support of the government. Despite the fact that the Congress lost the support of its center-left supporters, the results of the vote were favorable for the government. Many accused Congress of bribing members of parliament, but the INC denied all of this. As a result of the investigation, two parliamentarians were still arrested, whose involvement in the abuse was proved.32

In 2011, another corruption scandal ensued: Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan was forced to resign after being charged with making housing intended for military widows the property of relatives of high-ranking military personnel and officials. A. Chavan and two other accomplices were convicted of organizing a criminal conspiracy, fraud and falsification of documents. 33.

In March 2012, Army Commander General V. K. Singh reported that he was offered a $2.7 million bribe by a person with close ties to the defense industry. In exchange for the army's needs, several hundred trucks were to be purchased. The report caused great outrage in Parliament, and Defense Minister A. K. Anthony promised to investigate. However, due to the absence of a written statement from the general, an official case was never initiated.34

In 2011, the anti-corruption movement became noticeably more active. It was initiated by 74-year-old Anna Hazare, an Indian public figure who organized several hunger strikes in central Delhi to force the government to pass a package of anti-corruption laws. Corruption, according to Anna Hazare, who was often called the "new Gandhi" 35, has become the main social disease in India, and it must be fought "to the end" 36. Supporters of this movement demanded the creation of a special anti-corruption agency. The attempt to arrest the activist resulted in a massive wave of protests across the country; demonstrations in support of Anna Hazare were held in almost every major city, and the authorities were forced to cancel the arrest and agree to hold protests.37 Government led by the United Progressive Alliance (UGA)* , also announced that a committee will be set up to draft the relevant draft law. In December 2013, the new law was approved by the Parliament.

Now political parties use anti-corruption slogans as a powerful tool to attract the electorate. The AAP (Common Man's Party), led by Arvind Kejriwal, built its program on the anti-corruption struggle, which significantly increased its popularity among the population. In the 2013 Delhi Legislative Assembly elections, the AAP won almost a third of the vote, beating the INC and losing only to


* The United Progressive Alliance (UGA) is a center - left coalition of political parties in India, formed in 2004 under the auspices of INC. The composition of the OPA is changing. At the moment, the alliance consists of 9 parties.

page 32

BJP parties. The leader of the AAP became the chief Minister of the capital 38.

Speaking to representatives of his party in early 2014, A. Kejriwal accused about 20 high-ranking politicians of corruption. Among them were Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, and BJP leader Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat, who had not yet become Prime Minister. The same list includes former BJP Chairman Nitin Gadkari, several cabinet ministers, members of Parliament, and others. According to A. Kejriwal, the list was compiled so that the Indians would know who should not be elected to parliament. The head of the AAP stated that "...one of the main tasks of the party is to prevent even one corrupt official from joining the parliament. " 39

However, in the winter of 2014, an anti-corruption bill was rejected in Parliament by two leading parties, as the Congress and the BJP considered it unconstitutional to pass it in the absence of an agreement with the federal government. Arvind Kejriwal resigned from his post in protest following the rejection of a bill that would have created an independent body with the power to vet political and civil servants suspected of corruption.

But there have been some attempts to fight corruption in India at various times. Thus, in 2005, the Government authorized the introduction of the Right to Information Act, which allowed Indian citizens to request access to any document of a public nature, including documents that give grounds for suspicion of corruption. Anti-corruption legislation has been tightened, and the work of the judiciary has become more efficient.

The fight against corruption is also being conducted at the level of individual cities and states. So, in 1988, the city of Kottayam (Kerala) adopted a program of literacy training for residents of the city with the help of volunteers. Since this action was carried out without any external funding, solely due to the personal aspirations of individuals, corruption was avoided. By June 1989, Kottayam had become the first city in India to reach 100% literacy. In Bihar, the number of police officers has been increased and trials are being conducted more quickly. The State of Chhattisgarh introduced a unique grain distribution system in 2003, which helped eliminate corruption in this important business. This system was recognized by the World Bank as the best in the world 40.

In general, we can say that there are prospects for improving the situation with corruption in the country, and there are enough resources to fight it. This work should be based on an effective legal system run by a strong, honest leader who can challenge corruption in all its forms.


1 http://www.theindiasite.com/a-brief-history-of-corruplion-in-india/

2 http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL

3 http://www.imf.org/external/russian/pubs/ft/weo/2014/update /01/ndf/0114r.pdf

4 For more information, see: Yurlova E. S. Indian family: water in her life // Asia and Africa today. 2015, N 2. (Yurlova E.S. 2015. Indiyskaya semiya: voda v eyo zhizni // Aziya i Afrika Segodnya. No. 2) (in Russian); Goryacheva A.M. Voda v indiskikh gorodakh [Water in Indian Cities]. 2015, N 2. (Goryacheva A.M. 2015. Voda v indiyskikh gorodakh // Aziya i Afrika Segodnya. N 2) (in Russian)

5 http://www.iop.harvard.edu/figriting-corruption-india

6 http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.POV.NAHC

7 http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.ELC.ACCS.ZS

8 http://water.org/country/india/

9 http://www.transparency.org/gcb2013/countrv/?countrv=india

10 Ibidem.

11 Ibid.

12 Ibid.

13 http://www.currentweek.com/corruption-in-india-facts-politics-government-statistics-infograp hic/

14 http://www.cfr.org/corruption-and-bribery/governance-india-corruption/p31823

15 http://www.currentweek.com/corruption-in-india-facts-politics-government-statistics-infograp hic/

16 http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013 - 10 - 25/news/ 43395196_1_inadequate-storage-infrastructure-cold-storage-tonne; http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/20-mt-of-wheat-wasted-in-india-every-year-r eport/article5272311.ece

17 http://russian.doingbusiness.org/rankings

18 http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014 - 04 - 13/news/490980801india-mauritius-dtaa-double-taxation-avoidance-agreement-tax-benefit

19 http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21598967-graft-india-damaging-economv-countrv- needs-get-serious-about-dealing-it

20 Ibidem.

21 http://www.theindiasite.coni/a-brief-history-of-corruption-in-india/

22 http://www.cfr.org/corruption-and-bribery/governance-india-corruption/p31823

23 Ibidem.

24 Ibid.

25 http://www.iop.harvard.edu/fighting-corruption-india 26 http://www.economist.com/node/21547280 27 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/world/asia/scandal-bares-corruption-hampering-indias-g rowth.htmI?pagewanted= all&_r=0

28 Ibidem.

29 Ibid.

30 Ibid.

31 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-12769214

32 Ibidem.

33 Ibid.

34 Ibid.

35 http://ria.ru/world/20110819/420008745.html

36 http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/i-will-fight-till-the-end-highlights-of-anna-hazare-s-speech -221731

37 http://ria.ru/world/20110819/420008745.html

38 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-26222489

39 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Arvind-Kejriwal-names-20-top-corrupt-leaders-saуs- Rahul-Modi-spending-crores/articleshow/29669870.cms

40 http://www.iop.harvard.edu/fighting-corruption-india


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