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Mr. Vittal is a brilliant man....



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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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    Below, he clearly states that corruption is not a cultural
phenomenon but an economic observable.  That is, Indians are not
pre-programmed to be corrupt but "If we take any population, we will
find that if we measure people by the degree of their honesty, 10 per
cent will be honest under all circumstances and 10 per cent will be
dishonest. 80 per cent will be honest or dishonest depending upon the
system,” Mr Vittal explains.According to the CVC, the Indian system
encourages corruption due to the scarcity of goods & services, red tape,
lack of transparency, elaborate legal procedures and the camaraderie
that exists among the corrupt who tend to protect each other......."
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Fighting the other enemy, inside the country
George Cherian
MUMBAI 12 JUNE
IF you walk into a government department and see a board with
the message “Do not pay bribes” staring you in the face, there’s
no reason to be amused, or for that matter, embarrassed. It’s
just part of the central vigilance commissioner (CVC) N Vittal’s
strategy to curb corruption in the country.
Mr Vittal’s strategy to curtail corruption includes bringing about
more transparency in the dealings of the various government
departments, simplifying procedures and also punishing corrupt
government servants.
“If we take any population, we will find that if we measure people
by the degree of their honesty, 10 per cent will be honest under
all circumstances and 10 per cent will be dishonest. 80 per cent
will be honest or dishonest depending upon the system,” Mr
Vittal explains.According to the CVC, the Indian system
encourages corruption due to the scarcity of goods & services,
red tape, lack of transparency, elaborate legal procedures and
the camaraderie that exists among the corrupt who tend to
protect each other.
Transparency International has ranked India 66th on its
corruption perception index (CPI) among 85 countries. “There are
only 19 countries in the world that are more corrupt than India,”
says the man who is looked upon as many as a TN Seshan in
the making.
Mr Vittal says he has been trying to handle corruption as
anybody would handle malaria. “Malaria can be treated by giving
the affected individuals medicine. Alternatively, we can take
action to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. There are stagnant
pools in our system, which breed the corruption mosquitoes, and
this is what I am trying to tackle,” he says. The CVC points to
four key players in the “corruption scene” in the country. They
are the neta (the corrupt politician), the babu (bureaucrat), the
lala ( businessman) and the dada (the criminal). “We will have to
tackle these players and for this we will have to look at the
psychology which breeds corruption,” he says.
According to the CVC, there is a psychology that breeds
corruption — a low-risk, high-profit activity. There is no shame in
being corrupt. “So, if you can make easy money and also not
lose prestige in society, why not indulge in corruption?” he
explains.
“The only restriction to corruption comes from two sources. One
is the internal check of conscience and the moral values an
individual gets from his family, background, religion and his
society. The second of course is external control, which the
government can exercise to make corruption a dangerous
exercise. As CVC, I am concerned with the second part,” he
adds.
Mr Vittal says the only way action can be taken against corrupt
government officials is to empower the CVC to confiscate
ill-gotten property. He has requested the government to enact the
Corrupt Public Servants (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1998. The
Act was drafted by the chairman of the Law Commission, Justice
Jeevan Reddy. Under this law, the CVC will be empowered to
confiscate the ill-gotten wealth of corrupt public servants.
The CVC has also asked the government for empowerment under
The Benami Transactions Prohibitions Act, 1988. Though this
Act was passed in 1988 and provides for the confiscation of
benami properties as per the rules prescribed, during the last 10
years, this has not been activated.

--
Sincerely,
Vamsi M.



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