Wednesday, June 02, 2010

How to Control Corruption?

Many people suggest to do the following to solve the corruption problem.

  • Speedy Justice
  • Confiscation of properties
  • Throwing them in Jail
  • Getting them out of job/politics

While solving any problem, we have to find the root cause of the problem, and what we are trying to achieve by solving that. We should come up with the systematic changes to solve it, and not just few incremental changes. The main problem that people face (related to corruption) is, People had to bribe to get any service done. The ideal solution is, people should get all the services without any bribe. We should change the system in such a way that, we don't need to use Police or Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to reduce the corruption.

Let's take an example of Telecommunications.

Till 1999, to get any telephone connection, one had to bribe the employees of BSNL, and even after that, they used to get the connection after a month or two. At that time, the long distance STD charges were Rs.16 per minute. After the telecommunication reforms, private operators were allowed to serve. By 2003, everyone could get a phone of private operators just in 10 minutes without any bribe, and STD charge was dropped to Rs.3.50. This change was not a small improvement. It was a drastic improvement. This change has come only because of open competition in telecommunications. The private operators want profit. They can get profit, only if they provide better service to the consumer. So, all the private operators started providing better and better services, and at the end, the consumer is benefited significantly. Eventhough BSNL is a multi billion dollar company and has been there for a very long time, still the players like Airtel, Reliance and Vodafone have got more share in cell phones than BSNL. Now, how many people are bothered about corruption in BSNL?

In this reform, government has not done anything like introducing extra employees in ACB, or replacing the employees of BSNL with sincere employees etc. Government just brought open competition, and everything automatically got changed. Corruption Control and Development go together. We cannot do only one and not other. If we develop, it will automatically control the corruption. Reducing the corruption without development is not possible.

Eventhough not directly related to corruption, we have the following problems.

  • The house rentals in certain locations are very high just because they are near to big companies.
  • Traffic is a very big problem. It takes a lot of time to travel.
  • Global warming is increasing, and we have to reduce it as much as possible.
  • Transport cost is very high.

All the above problems can be solved very easily by allowing private operators in bus services. If a family can travel comfortably at any time, from any place to any other place by using public transport, then many people would prefer to use public transport rather than their own transport. Everyday, many people are getting injured in bike accidents, and many people do not like to drive for one to two hours in traffic. But, they had to do that, because, the transport is very bad. In any city, at peak time, one cannot even think of getting into the city bus, no need of speaking about sitting in the bus. There are many people who are ready to pay more than city bus price for a comfortable travel. But, the government is not providing more buses, and not allowing private operators to provide the same. If there is open competition, then the no.of buses will increase, and people will get better service, and many people will start using public transport. By that, no.of vehicles on the road will decrease, and by that, problems of global warming and traffic will also reduce. If the transport is good, and if one can reach the destination in less time, then the employees do not need to stay very near to the office, and rentals will be stabilized.

Whatever revolution we had in telecommunications, we should bring in Transport, Education, Power Supply and in every other field to develop and at the same time to control the corruption.

Many people think that, what can a common man do? Vote is a big weapon that every indian has. By voting for a party which can improve the society, they can definitely bring the change. But, many people are thinking that, how does my vote can change? The fact is, everybody is thinking like that. If everyone just votes for a political party, which can change the system, and asks their friends/relatives to vote for that party, then the entire state will develop, and there will not be any place for corruption. Other than voting for the right party, a common man does not need to do anything more to reduce the corruption, and anything less will not be sufficient.


  1. There are many services like vehicle registration that can be done only by the govt. offices, I do not understand how that can be privatized. But in general, I do not support the govt. providing me any services, it is bound to be sloppy. Think of AI

  2. We cannot privatize everything. Anything related to law and order, judiciary, security etc., have to be completely controlled by government, and it is very difficult to introduce open competition in that. Even if it is introduced, there may be misuse of it. But, open competition should be introduced, if it is not related to any of the above.