Thursday, December 8, 2011

Corruption, Black Money in India : Aadhar the only Viable Solution

Corruption amongst politicians, bureaucrats, technocrats, other government functionaries and corporate world is rampant in India. Though the cases that come to light through media everyday are a minuscule sample of the menace of Corruption, Black Money and Bad Governance, the government and the polity have shown scant concern in this regard. A few raids, some action on the part of vigilance authorities and once in a while expose by media efforts cannot produce any meaningful dent on the extent of corruption, black money and bad governance malaise which is deeply rooted in all aspects of Indian economy, governance and day to day lives of all Indians. To whatever extent we may reinforce our anti corruption machinery, judicial system and laws we can only manage to put a scratch on the problem. The real fight against corruption and black money will come through good governance and administrative action only.
Aadhar project of the Unique Identification Authority of India can be the real aadhar of the nation's fight against corruption and black money. The project was given concurrence by the government as an exercise to give identity proof to 1 billion Indians. Slowly and slowly when the total repercussions of the Unique Identification Number started unfolding themselves, the polity seems to have developed cold feet suddenly.Firstly because it takes away the punch from the slogan of inclusive growth and social, economic and political empowerment and secondly it puts their survivability in politics in question as major support to elections comes through these cadres and such tainted money. The amounts involved are simply mind boggling. A sum of Rs 1,50,000 crores which goes into corruption and black money through leakages, bribery and pilferage in welfare benefits such as subsidies, pensions, NREGA, India Awaas Yojna, mid day meals and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. After all these are the only sops that can be offered to their political loyalists at 2nd and 3rd level. In this country who wants to have power without any financial gains attached to it? Who wants to serve the nation and its masses free of cost? The UID project has come under attack from all flanks. The very basis of of unique identification number i.e. procedures for data collection and potential errors therein as well as concerns over privacy are being challenged. What kind of hidden agenda or ulterior motives are behind this, is any body's guess.

Real estate along with all other asset classes is the other main source of corruption and black money. The only viable solution seems to be through linking of all immovable and movable assets with UID number. These assets will include all commercial and residential property, all agricultural land, gold and jewellery, all vehicles ( commercial and private ), all luxury items, DMat accounts, investments in commodities, banks and mutual funds etc. etc.. Along with these linkages the following steps are also a must.
  • Government should have the power to acquire about 5-10% of real estate deals in the secondary market by paying 10% premium to the declared value of the deal.
  • Practice of power of attorney in respect of real estate should be abolished.
  • All Discretionary powers in the hands of government functionaries should be withdrawn because in India they are always used for one's own hidden agenda and ulterior motives.
Once the investment avenues of ill gotten money are plugged, we can see a ray of hope in improving the living standards of Indian masses at a much faster rate.