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Report No. 166

1.11. Measures to Combat Corruption by OECD and Countries and Need for Stringent Measures.-

Let it not be assumed that the Indian people are tolerant of corruption. People's failure to participate in elections in desired numbers is a testimony to their lack of faith in the instruments of governance. People's patience may be short-lived. Many governments viz., Brazil, Indonesia, Italy, Pakistan and Zaire have fallen at least partly on account of corruption of politicians. There are several pitfalls of corruption viz., more red tape, less investment in education, less direct foreign investment and bad governance. Anti-corruption measures have attracted worldwide attention.

The United States of America enacted Foreign Corrupt Practices Act several years back. Recently, international financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF have increasingly started linking aid to the developing countries on the condition of providing good governance. An anti-bribery convention has also been signed/ ratified by some 29 members of the OECD which requires them to make it a crime to bribe any foreign official to win or retain business or for any other "improper advantage". The convention is soon expected to come into force. A few multinational companies are understood to be strictly enforcing their ethics code not to bribe officials.

It is important that the Indian business people evolve their codes of ethics to discourage corrupt practices. An independent and fearless judiciary in India can go a long way in playing an important role in ensuring that the corrupt are not spared at any cost. Nevertheless, it is not a substitute for clean and responsive government which has the good of people at heart and which is earnest in the task of routing out corruption. Let war on corruption not remain a mere slogan. It is in this earnest hope that the government of the day means business that the Law Commission has ventured to propose the present legislation.

The Corrupt Public Servants (Forfeiture of Property) Bill Back

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