November 19, 2020
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Top Of The World In Corruption?

Ashok Mitra in the Telegraph:
In 2006, Indian nationals reportedly held the largest quantity of illegally stashed money in Swiss banks. The amount was as high as $1,456 billion. The more prominent stragglers were crooks from Russia ($470 billion), the United Kingdom ($390 billion), Ukraine ($100 billion) and China (US $96 billion). Money stored away by Indians in numbered bank accounts in Switzerland actually exceeded the total deposits by nationals from all other countries of the world taken together.

Top Of The World In Corruption?
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530

The Global Integrity Report 2007 rated India as moderate on the corruption scale:

India scores well in tax processes, public procurement and privatization processes. Budget processes, executive accountability and legislative accountability can be improved, yet are above the international median score. Judicial accountability is a notable exception; it is accessed as very weak. Other bad news includes nepotism embedded in the civil service; journalists harassed for reporting on corruption; and an increase in off-the-books campaign finance arrangements. Citizens may dispute the moderate assessment: pessimism about corruption is pervasive 
Transparency International rates India at #85 out of a total of 180 counries surveyed.  But Ashok Mitra writes in the Telegraph today:
In 2006, Indian nationals reportedly held the largest quantity of illegally stashed money in Swiss banks. The amount was as high as $1,456 billion. The more prominent stragglers were crooks from Russia ($470 billion), the United Kingdom ($390 billion), Ukraine ($100 billion) and China (US $96 billion). Money stored away by Indians in numbered bank accounts in Switzerland actually exceeded the total deposits by nationals from all other countries of the world taken together. ...  The reported holdings of Indian citizens in numbered accounts in Swiss banks in 2006 — close to $1500 billion — is roughly 1.8 times the size of the country’s gross domestic product that year.
He also narrates a "hysterically funny, yet lurid, episode that took place in the late 1960s":
Gulzari Lal Nanda was the country’s home minister. A well-meaning man, he was perturbed by the pace at which corruption was spreading within government. He invited the public not to stand on ceremony and post with him personally their complaints about alleged cases of corruption. A couple of mornings were set aside every week for the minister to have a face-to-face encounter with members of the public.

In no time, long queues formed of people anxious to unload their grievances to the minister. Not surprisingly, it took hours and hours — and sometimes days — to meet the home minister. The impatient crowd and the constabulary assigned to manage the crowd soon came to a deal. Policemen happily accepted a ten-rupee note from each of those who wanted to jump the queue and see the minister before their turn came. Corruption, so to say, received the official imprimatur. 
Read the full article here 
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