The massive corruption has taken root amongst the Indian politician assisted by the bureaucracy and the present state of the political system whereby virtually every major project, scheme announced for the benefit of the poor and dis-advantaged, infrastructure development undertakings, purchases and deals including deals related to the country's safety, security and defense, has a kickback component that can go as high as 20% or more.
Schemes announced for poverty alleviation and other handouts in lakhs of crores over the years have only delivered 20-25% to where they are meant to be, with the rest gobbled up by the entire politician-bureaucracy patronage chain. Huge cost escalation takes place and massive sums of money are siphoned off from the national and state exchequers and budgets. This black-illegitimate and illegal money story has to be stopped and changed immediately. The country has suffered much as a result of this phenomenon.
Thanas are auctioned, government jobs are bought, transfers are a business; it is endless, this narrative of national corruption and weakness of spirit. It seems, that in this great country where God exists in everyone’s heart. Indeed it appears that God has been made to become a thief.
The country is awash with such practices and money with no end in sight. These kinds of corrupt practices have not only emerged from and been fueled by the culture of patronage, but has also created the public attitudes are which are extraordinarily negative, and destroy the nations soul, the ancient civilizational narrative of this nation. A narrative of the pursuit of truth, inner strength, giving, sacrifice and building; first personal character, and then stemming from this, real lasting wealth. A narrative that is based on giving, and giving up, rather than accumulating and stealing.
This destruction of the soul of our ancient civilization has to stop and there has to be brought about a legal and policy framework which brings about an immediate change process, first amongst the leadership which would automatically flow through to the public. Our ancient dictum, “Yatha Rajah, Thatha Prajah”, has always been true.
It must be noted that to bring about the radical change that is need by our people and the country to shake out of the malicious quagmire that it finds itself in, there cannot be the story of slow progress, evolution from within the system.
The interest of the system is to perpetuate itself so as it can continue in power and then corner as much resources as it can for its own benefit, over that of the Indian public. Unless a clean sweep is done, and replaced with a system of meritocracy and incentivized compensation, the system would continue to be corrupt with whatever cosmetic changes are announced from time to time, especially at the time of elections and the end results would remain the same; as is the case at present, and has been so for the past 60 plus years.
With power held in a few hands, and no public accountability or oversight, the nation would continue to struggle with its lop-sided development. While the control remains in those few politician and bureaucrat hands, they would take pretty much what they want, do what they want, and the merry go-round would continue, as has been the case hitherto, and these power centers would continue to accumulate great deal of money for themselves and their families; which is how the current system is functioning.
To break this logjam and to create a system of merit based reward The Rising India Party proposes that the following steps be taken to change the political and bureaucratic story from one of patronage and corruption, to that of meritocracy and fair compensation commensurate with the position and service delivery as below:
- The government would form a “salary and compensation package” review Group comprising a diverse selection of people from within the civil service and wider private sector and public with the mandate to come up with a winning formula designed to boost meritocracy while wiping out causes of “need based” corruption within the country’s governing staff.
- These groups would take a complete relook at the salary and compensation packages for every level of the bureaucracy and move quickly to realign these with the private sector for similar positons of responsibility and seniority from the perspective of attracting the best talent.
- For example, the Joint Secretary level, depending upon the role, should have base packages of 1 crore plus incentives that have the capacity to deliver multiples of salary depending upon speed and quality of the delivery of their mandate.
- Incentive frames and packages would be framed for each level based on whether the role is front-line, having direct impact on the national governance from the perspective of national development, wealth creation and meeting strategic goals, or is a back-end support one.
- An Incentive Fund would be established titled “The Governing Incentive Fund that would be centrally managed.
- Alternatively, the governing incentive funds could either be one gigantic Centrally Managed one or a combination of central and state governing incentive funds.
- Moneys collected in this fund would then be used to distribute incentives at year end on completion of the annual review process of government or public servants.
- The Governing Incentive Funds moneys would also be used to fund education of the public servant’s children,
- The amount of support would vary the level, cadre and salary or compensation package of the public servant.
- Moneys would also be made available from the Governing Incentive Funds to subsidize, or entirely fund, the overseas and specialist education of the public servant / officer’s children
- Governing Incentive Funds would also be used to fund housing needs of public servants
- Governing Incentive Funds would also provide soft loans for any family purpose, including weddings.
- Since in the present corrupt system, in any case has a top up burden varying to 20% or more to the various bidders and contractors of certain government or public contracts for a variety of projects let it be mandated by law, that certain percentages of contracts and projects that are awarded to the private sector is to be set aside to incentivize a set aside into the Incentive Fund.
- The percentages for such projects could vary from a high of 20% to a low of 5% depending on the size and scope of the project.
- The winning bidders will be strictly on the merit of the bid but the Governing Incentive Fund percentages would be top loaded.
- Some of this money would be made available to pay out as the works get completed as spot incentives if the projects of work are on or under-budget, and deliver stipulated or higher quality of specifications laid out.
- The Governing Incentive Fund, would be used to incentivize the entire group that is involved in a given project and also spillovers to be used for incentivizing of the entire bureaucracy from the bottom up.
- For instance, if there is a roadbuilding project that for which contracts are awarded, currently the bidders are trying to bribe politicians and the bureaucrats and this discourse can be up to 20%, perhaps more is filtered out.
- In principle, if the Governing Incentive Funds are legitimately set out and used to completely incentivize the public services within a changed narrative of the integrity, accountability, efficiency and a mind set of concern-for-the-public as part of their performance assessment and accountability frame of the public servants who form the governing elites as public servants.
- Contributions to the Governing Incentive Funds would come from various sources. For example, in the case of police of collection of money in fines for traffic or other minor public behavior infringements crimes, if there are traffic fines, all traffic fine collections by police a large chunk from 25 to 40% would go into Governing Incentive Funds for incentivizing
- Policies need to be further refined and this approach and treatment needs to be thought through for every area of bureaucratic functioning.
- In the case of day to day, public-connect government work, a system wherein normal work delivery time frames for various public-connects are stated for each department must be worked out and transparently stated at each front facing office and on the websites where available.
- For those who want a fast track service, additional charges over and above the base rates by say 25% or more can be framed and outlined, and these charges can be part of the contribution to the Governing Incentive Funds. This would replace the bribe driven story that is currently in place at every single government office that has public-connect.
- In all instances, the government has to deliver an efficient, hassle free, friendly delivery of work service on all fronts to the public. This has to be underlying quality delivery promise to the public from whom the government and public servant draw their sustenance, and whom they serve.
- Further development and additions, or subtractions, from this framework will take place once the work is published for the public to examine and comment upon.