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CVC Refers to Environmental Costs of Corruption

Written By Gopal Krishna on Monday, September 06, 2010 | 10:29 AM

Comments or suggestions are invited on the 50 page Draft National Anti-corruption Strategy by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) by 20th September, 2010.

Its preface says, "The National Anti-Corruption Strategy represents a blue print for commitment and action by the various stakeholders to the governance process. It aims at systematic and conscious reshaping of the country’s national integrity system. The strategy recommends a set of action to be taken by the government and a set of action by the political entities, judiciary, media, citizens, private sector and civil society organisations.

To ensure that the strategy does not remain a mere document, it is envisaged to ensure its effective implementation by developing suitable parameters for evaluating and monitoring the progress of its implementation. The CVC would review the progress on an annual basis and submit a report to the Parliament."
For any clarifications please contact:

Shri K. Subramaniam
OSD to CVC
Central Vigilance Commission
Satarkta Bhawan, INA,
New Delhi - 110023
Tel.: 24651085
e-mail: subramaniam.k@nic.in

At page 5 and 6 it refers to the IMPACT OF CORRUPTION AND THE NEED FOR A NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION STRATEGY.
Globally, there is a general consensus amongst most academics and policy makers that the debilitating effects of corruption permeate through all aspects of public life. Several studies have shown that corruption not only stifles growth, it also perpetuates inequalities, deepens poverty, causes human suffering, dilutes the fight against terrorism and organised crime, and tarnishes India’s image globally.

The impact of corruption is multi fold, encompassing: political costs, economic costs, social costs, environmental costs and issues of national security.

(a) Political Costs: The political costs of corruption are manifested in weakened public trust in political institutions, reduced political participation, perversion of the electoral process, restricted political choices available to citizens and loss of legitimacy of the democratic system.

(b) Economic Costs: Corruption reduces economic efficiency by misallocation of resources in favour of rent seeking activities, increasing the cost of public transactions, acting as an additional tax on business thereby reducing investment, reducing genuine business competition.

(c) Social Costs: The effect of corruption on the social fabric of society is perhaps the most alarming damage of all. It undermines people's trust in the political system, in its institutions and its leadership. Corruption distorts the value systems and wrongly attaches elevated status to occupations that have rent seeking opportunities. This results in a disillusioned public, a weak civil society, which attracts unscrupulous leaders to political life. Eventually, there is a risk that demanding and paying bribes could become the norm.

(d) Environmental Costs: Environmental degradation is an indirect but serious consequence of corrupt systems. Environmentally devastating projects are given preference in funding, because they are easy targets for siphoning off public money into private pockets.

(e) Issues of national security: Corruption within security agencies can lead to a threat to national security, including through distortion of procurement, recruitment of ineligible persons, providing an easy route for smuggling of weapons and terrorist elements into the country and money laundering
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