New Delhi: The pre-Budget Economic Survey today called for ruthless crackdown on corruption and said graft scandals are slowing down decision-making and holding up economic reforms.
“While we need to ruthlessly crack down on corruption, it must, at the same time, be recognised that the fear of a large and cumbersome anti-corruption bureaucracy can be detrimental to risk taking and may hamper legitimate activities in public institutions,” said the Economic Survey 2011-12, which was tabled in Parliament today.
Citing economic growth figures of India which shows the GDP expansion has consistently declined from 7.8 percent in the first quarter to 6.1 percent in the fourth quarter this year, the survey explicitly points out that civil society activism could be cause of delay in taking the final decision by civil servants.
“One reason of increased awareness of high profile corruption scandals in different part of India and welcome civil- society activism has caused a sense of caution among civil servants in taking the final decision,” the document said, adding “this would cause a slowdown in decision making”.
The survey also blames coalition politics and federal considerations role in holding up economic reforms.
The government has to put on hold its decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail due to stiff opposition from its key UPA ally Trinamool Congress and other political parties.
Meanwhile, Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu has said the nation has to fight corruption, but ‘cleverly.’
“You see corruption, you put in regulation. And create a cadre of people who go and try to control that kind of corruption … Once you create another group of bureaucracy to control that corruption, you would probably create another level of different kind of corruption,” Basu said.