Saturday, July 02, 2005

Loot for work programs?

After Brinda Karat, it is now the turn of Jean Dreze to rant about how poorly our state governments are running the Food for Work programs, which are an important part of India's War on Poverty. If Karat fumes about how the program treats women, Dreze fumes about the rampant corruption in its implementation.

While we are on corruption, it was interesting that Transparency International actually put a number on the level of corruption: about 20,000 crore (200 billion) rupees, or a little less than 1 percent of our GDP.

Isn't this figure too low by a factor of at least five? Or, ten?


  1. Anonymous said...

    Hello abi,

    I would say that it is not the amount of money in corruption that actually matters. It is how much corruption as a cancer has spread in our society.

    It is not the 20000 crore that matters. What counts is the number of hapless Indians who are victimized.

    Corruption destroys the people just like the middle man destroys an Indian farmer, driving him to suicide. The question here is what is the amount that he commits suicide for? I dont think it will be anywhere near one crore... it will be say 1 lakh. Now 20000 crore has the potential to destroy 20,00,000 i.e 20 million farmers. That is really not a small amount, it is double the amount of the people who were killed in the first world war.

    The problem we have is that corruption is widespread and extensive. It is not as much intensive and localised as that of countries like US or Japan, where there are only a few people who are corrupt(lobby influenced) and they take money in millions at a time.

    Considering the spread of corruption I guess that we can safely call India the most corrupt country in the world.