Minister for Corruption - The Honest Truth By Ajit Dayal
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23 MAY 2009

On May 22nd, President Pratibha Patil administered the oath of office and the oath of secrecy to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

President Patil is the first lady President of India and is serving her first term.
Prime Minister Singh is the first non-Nehru to be voted back to power for a second, continuous term.

And along with Prime Minister Singh, 19 Cabinet Ministers were sworn in.
While more Ministers will be sworn in over the next few days, an interesting compilation from NDTV.com:

3 of the 19 Ministers are below the age of 60 (Mamta Banerjee is the youngest, at age 56);

10 of the 19 Ministers are between the ages of 60 and 70;

6 of the 19 Ministers are above the age of 70 (S. M. Krishna is the oldest at 77 years of age; Dr. Singh is the 2nd oldest, he will celebrate his 77th birthday on September 26th).

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Ensuring that the global economic crisis does not derail India's growth is crucial said Prime Minister Singh. (A hint for Dr Singh: shut down the ability of unknown foreign money to gamble in India via P-Notes and India's problems will be solved.)

And Pakistan remains a pain in the neck.

But there is another enemy within: corruption.
I hope Prime Minister Singh creates a slot for a Minister for Corruption.
Not to increase it, but to reduce it.

The fight for portfolios
It does not matter how old or young a person is.
What matters is the work they do.
And honestly they do their work.

Rahul Gandhi is credited for turning around the fortunes of the Congress party in UP.
He is also credited with the decision to field 11 younger candidates from the Indian Youth Congress. Eight of those 11 won the elections.

The real issue is not youth v/s age; or energy v/s experience.
Nor is the issue whether the DMK will get what they want or sit sulking outside the government (by the way, let them).

The real issue is the possible lobbying to ensure that friends of the powerful get the more general portfolios of Finance and Commerce.
And the more specific portfolios like Agriculture, Civil Aviation, Defence, Fertilisers, Petroleum, Shipping, or Telecom.
That is where the big bucks are.
That is where the big bang of reform can have an impact.
Or the big bang of selected preferential reform can help a favoured few.

The value of all products, goods, and services sold in India every year is about Rs. 49,50,000 crores (about USD 1.1 trillion).

Wouldn't it be helpful if even 0.01% of India's annual GDP was spent on a Ministry of Corruption with its own investigations staff, its own courts and judges, its own jails?

Rs 500 cores and some really dedicated people - that's all it takes to cleanse the rot of corruption.
The Cream Team has added so many service charges and surcharges' in the previous 5 years - and this is one that all would willingly pay.

Meanwhile, we can help in our own small way.
When the traffic light is red, we should stop.
And not go through it knowing that Rs 30 will get you the green light to move on just in case you get caught.

Sometimes leadership comes from stopping - not from age or from experience.

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Note: The Honest Truth is authored by Ajit Dayal. Ajit is a Director at Quantum Advisors Pvt Ltd and Quantum Asset Management Company Pvt Ltd.. Views expressed in this article are entirely those of the author and may not be regarded as views of the Quantum Mutual Fund or Quantum Asset Management Company Private Limited. To write to Ajit, please click here.


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12 Responses to "Minister for Corruption"

PRITAM B. MUDALIYAR

Jan 25, 2010

Forget everything about corruption. it is deep rooted in our blood. just any party comming to power reveal their balance sheets as public limited companies does. that will be a beginning of a new revoultion. remember MGR of AIADMK party while in DMK had advised DMK chief that the party should publish their financial statement in a leading newspaper for which he was humiliated in his party and a new party was born. Many honest party leaders should come up with the idea and it should be passed in lok sabha. then we will see the corruption topic.
thanks and regards
PBM.

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Sampath Kumar

Jan 25, 2010

If we are targeting 2020, then THREE areas need to become corruption free-1. Judiciary; 2. Education 3. Police.
Assuming India can get this done thro Minister for Corruption, then nobody can stop us from becoming SUPER POWER.
Police is said to be watchman for ruling Govt in States. This should come under Central Govt..

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Sunny

Jun 5, 2009

I would take a different look, as many said corruption is deep rooted, point is well taken. We should plea to everyeone, first think on what do u want to do with the money you are saving illelgally. For sure a human being doesnt need to save 75 lac crores in Swiss bank. Atleast spend 50% of amount for the benefit of people as you corrupt ministers (with no brain or half brain)are responsible for spending and for society. India is able to flourish even though 95% of the funds are misused...so if everyone(especially corrupt ministers) works towards utilizing 50% of funds effectively..i guess we should be in good shapre..please provide quality of living...dont do things for the sake of doing it...

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karthikeyan

Jun 2, 2009

TO Mr. Ajit Dayal and others.

Did Any of you Vote?

If Yes ( I Accept to the views of Abolishing corruption. And a need for a proper Government to hear our voice. )
Else ( No one Deserves to talk and better stick to personal financial benefits. :) )

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p.madhusudhanan

May 25, 2009

The problem of corruption is so deep rooted in our system that its difficult to root out completely within the next five years of the ovt rule. in the name of economic reforms there are MP''s who have finished funds during the last one month before the elections just by building unwanted roads, bridges, etc where good roads were already there--- Mumbai and its suburbs is a glaring example...rebuilding roads in a place where it is most needed would be reforms, reforming an existing road does not necessarily mean economic reforms. And corruption is the cause of all this.Earlier it was the British, who taught corruption to the panchayats, and now its the Mantris who are singing the same tune.

We can all join together and make a plea to the PM. There''s no harm in trying any way.

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Madhavankutty

May 24, 2009

(1) Indias biggest problem it should be root out by government with the help of honest people, If the corruption can root out from the Indian Rly ,Income Tax$customs India can abolish poverty.Is this government can do?

(2) Is the politician can be avoid to instigating the public in the name of cast and creed for their gain in feature there will not be any cast war and avoid such cenema interduceing in the theater.

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Atul V

May 23, 2009

With respect to your poll: What is India''s biggest problem? You left one major option.
Congress

Where is the corruption and how did it all start?

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lalit

May 23, 2009

Well said.The real contribution and leadership is in stopping at the red light.Government is only a reflection of society that it represents.Same applies to corruption.Corruption exists because we all are in hurry andlike to jump the red light rather than patiently wait for our turn.

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Keshav

May 23, 2009

Good reading. Baba Ramdev is already working in this direction. Hopefully by next election time we should see some results.

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Srinivasan

May 23, 2009

Actually there is no need for this. I mean Minister for Corruption.

Everybody keeps talking about economic reforms. What we need more urgently is Administrative reforms, Political reforms, Electoral reforms, Police reforms etc.

And all these should precede economic reforms.

Once these are in place then corruption would automatically be taken care of.

But sadly, no one that matters are pushing for these reforms.

Just my humble views.

Kind Regards

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