The cost of corruption
- Gold prices soften on muted demand, silver steady
- Gujarat elections: CM Vijay Rupani says results show people’s faith in agenda of development
- GSTN brings in option for monthly, quarterly filing of forms
- Gujarat election results: BJP continues to draw urban votes, rural seats go to Congress
- Bill to extend proxy voting to overseas Indians in Lok Sabha
The global economy is estimated to be losing about $1.5-2 trillion, or 2% of gross domestic product, annually because of bribery, noted the International Monetary Fund. The indirect costs could be even higher as corruption leads to societal distrust and affects the government’s functioning.
India has had its own share of big corruption scandals. During the United Progressive Alliance’s second term, this reached a stage where bureaucrats were unwilling to take decisions due to the fear of getting dragged into controversies.
Corruption affects economic growth, fuels inequality and can lead to political instability, but controlling it can be difficult in societies where it is more prevalent. Kautilya compared finding government officials taking money with fish drinking water.
Still, the impact can perhaps be minimized by strengthening institutions, avoiding over-regulation and reducing bureaucratic discretion at various levels.