Corruption cripples global economy
Digamber Eslampure | Collegio Reporter
Corruption has become one of the most dangerous threats in the world. Recently, the Chinese communist leader, Bo Xiali, got suspended from the party due to corruption charges. Wal-Mart, a well-known retail chain, is also facing corruption and bribery charges. The list goes on and on.
Every day we hear about an incident involving corruption. Whether it’s in a developed country, developing country or underdeveloped country, corruption is a termite infestation that reaches every corner of the world.
There is a close relationship between corruption, business and politics. Most corruption scandals are rooted in the misuse of power or public property for personal benefit or benefit of selected firms or businessmen.
Corruption mainly occurs in a systemic manner, one in which multinational companies work hand-in-glove with the government. One important reason is that the companies don’t want to lose their projects to their competitors, at any cost.
Corruption has various forms, such as bribery, nepotism, embezzlement, cronyism, patronage and trading in influence. For most companies caught in a corruption scandal, cutthroat competition is the major driving factor.
From another perspective, the most powerful governments in the world are still unable to solve this problem completely, which may be because the most corrupted people are politicians.
Corruption has become a cancer to the economies of developing countries. Today, many of these countries face a wide range of problems that are due to corruption. Interestingly, most of the corruption scandals involve foreign companies and agents.
Civil society, nongovernmental organizations and some international organizations are working hard to fix this problem. They have had success to some extent, but this is not sufficient. There is still a long way to go.
As per Transparency International’s Corruption perception index, New Zealand occupies the top of the list as the least-corrupted nation, followed by Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Japan takes the 14th position, the United Kingdom is 16th, the United States is 24th, Saudi Arabia is 56th, Brazil is 73rd, China is 75th and India is 95th on the list of 182 countries.
North Korea and Somalia collectively occupy the bottom of the list as the most corrupted nations, preceded by Myanmar and Afghanistan, who are preceded by Uzbekistan, Sudan and Iraq.
There is a dire need to prevent corruption, and civil society and nongovernmental organizations are showing anger toward the corruption. They are protesting against the corruption through various methods.
The lack of accountability, low transparency in government and greed for more money are the major reasons for corruption.
Anti-corruption movements are gaining ground in many countries. For example, India recently witnessed mind-boggling scams in the telecom sector and at the commonwealth games; as a result, civil society members organized various anti-corruption movements.
Last year, the United Nations’ fourth session of anti-corruption conferences was held at Marrakech, Morocco, and was attended by 1,500 representative from 125 countries. The result was several proposed measures to prevent corruption, such as framing stronger laws and recovering assets if an individual is convicted of corruption.
The civil society members, citizens and nongovernmental organizations of the G20 nations forced them to fight against corruption as one of their main agenda items for the upcoming G20 summit.
Experts believe that corruption is breeding a lot of problems, such as widening the gap between the rich and poor, and hindering the development of nations. The high-level, systemic corruption is causing losses in the countries’ treasuries. Corruption is one of the major causes of poverty, and it is also causing significant damage to the environment.
Corruption is a complex problem for the world; we don’t have a silver bullet that will solve it immediately. We don’t have a panacea to cure this mosaic disease. To solve corruption problems around the world, we must chalk out a strong plan that will convince most of the nations that it is a real problem.
Some of the nations disagree with the United Nations’ plan against corruption. So those nations should engage in a dialogue with the international community and negotiate with them to reach a conclusion on corruption.
We should implement the U.N. proposals for fighting corruption. The corporate world should treat corruption as an ethical issue. They should also engage in fair business practices.
Elected governments should provide greater transparency and accountability. If we don’t fix the corruption issue, we are missing an opportunity to create a better world.