Wednesday, May 1, 2013
The republic of scandals!
There is not a single day when one or the other scam or a scandal does not surface in different parts of India. The latest is the chit fund scandal in which members of the West Bengal ruling party are also alleged to be involved. The most talked about at present which has started shaking the present ruling set up is the Coalgate Scam. As regards the colossal defence scams, there is no end. Defence Ministry is probably the most scandalous Ministry. It involves people right from the top political leadership to the lowest ranking officer. The most talked about is the Bofors gun scam. It involves thousands of crores in pay offs to the political top and the concerned army officers. The Kargil coffin scandal. The submarine deal. The refurbished Mig engines. The Russian aircraft carrier. The VIP helicopter deal. There is no end. These are some of the recent scams. The scandals have been there for decades and in almost every state. The Communications Ministry is beset with the 2-G scam in which the Prime Minister is also alleged to be involved even though it may not be for his own person! Wikipedia has a list of scandals in India. The Wikipedia list gives year wise complete details of various scandals. It starts right from 1948 with the Jeep purchase scam. There is a list of what are called the named scandals which have surfaced from time to time. These include both the scandals at the centre and in different states. The Indian coal mining scam is worth $ 34 billion! The Karnataka Wakf Board Scam is worth $ 37 billion. The 2-G scam is worth $ 32 billion. The details and extent of these scams is mind boggling. There is probably no year since Independence when one or the other scam has not surfaced. The list is again supposed to be “incomplete”. The zeebiz.com has a list of top ten scams of India. These include the Lalu Prasad’s Bihar fodder scam; L.K. Advani and Sharhad Yadav Hawala scam; the oil for food UN programme scam; the Ketan Mehta securities scam; Ramalinga Raju’s Satyam scam; Abdul Karim Telgi’s stamp paper scam; the Commonwealth Games scam; Bofors scandal involving Ottavio Quattrochi and Rajiv Gandhi and the A Raja’s 2-G scam. Tarun’s Collectivity blog gives the real size of these scams. According to him, the 2-G scam is worth 2 Trillion ( 2 Lac crores); Coal-gate scam is worth 11 Trillion ( 11 Lac crores) and the emerging Thorium scam is worth 48 Trillion ( 48 Lac crores). The estimated worth of only these three scams is 61 Trillion rupees. He says that in dollar terms it is equivalent to 1.1 trillion dollar (USD). That money according to Tarun should have been part of the national exchequer and should have gone into building of roads, healthcare, education and other utilities. India’s GDP is $ 1.8 Trillion and that means 60% of the GDP has gone into these scams! Tarun has analysed the scam money in reference to the possibilities of its utilization for various utilities and expenditures. It makes a very interesting read. • 32.7% population (about 500 million) live in abject poverty on less than 60 rupees a day. It is estimated that $ 195 billion would pay for all the hungry of the world. Just ten per cent of the scam money would pay for feeding of the world for ten years. • India spends 4.1 per cent of GDP on education. The scam money would pay for education for next 13 years. Every child under 15 could be given rupees 2 lac endowment for education. • Even with oil at $ 100 a barrel, we would be able to give free petrol in India to every one for next 10 years. • The money would pay for the income tax of every Indian for next 20 years. • Interestingly, Tarun gives a feeling of the size of the money by saying that if we give every Indian on the facebook a share of this money, each one would get rupees 11.5 lac rupees! One would like to give the final quotes of Tarun about the size of the scam money and what it could do. “The sheer size of these figures goes on and on. It begs the question – what is the true impact to us due to these scams, due to the revenue our exchequer would have had, which it has been denied? • Would our petrol prices have still risen? • Would we still have to pay such high income tax? • Would children die of starvation? • Would half of our country be on the streets? I think that this is yet another example of the cabal between the capitalist imperialists and the government, which is ostensibly supposed to protect its citizens from exploitation. Our politicians are bleeding the country dry while we watch reality TV and outrage about Apple vs Samsung, and gleefully celebrate kasab’s death. Those are just distractions, keeping us from focussing on real issues. We need to wake up”. It may be mentioned that apart from these scams, there is another bleed which is draining the life blood out of the Indian public. It is the so called national security and the defence set up. Again lacs of crores go into these systems which remain shrouded in secrecy. The absolute secrecy surrounding the deals connected with security result invariably in many scams which go unreported. The Indian public really needs to wake up to this corporate-government nexus and the so called threats to national security if real development and upliftment at the grass root level is to be achieved.