It’s high time to think about corruption

Every problem has solutions. But if we see the present situations of our society or nation, then we’ll see that this universal truth is quiet wrong! In our society, there are many problems raising intensely. These are corruption, rape, killing, political violence, Illegal Gratification, Extortion, illegal tenders are noteworthy. Corruption is very agitating from this problems. Every sector of our government consumed by it, late alone non-government sector also.

I’ll focus on corruption in my writing. We all saw the recent news that Bangladesh has ranked 14th among the most corrupt countries, according to the Global Corruption Perception Index 2019 released by the Berlin-based Transparency International. Corruption became so integral to Bangladesh that consecutively in recent years and it remained the most corrupt country in the world. Bangladesh’s latest status in corruption is ‘still embarrassing and alarming’ needing a strong political will to fight the malaise.

What’s the reasons behind it? The impact of the deficit of political integrity and link of politics to big money and corruption were also reflected in the result. The result is also an outcome of the political and policy decisions from the powerful vested groups with little reflection of the public interest. The deficit in the electoral integrity and the transparency of political or electoral finance were also a reason for the result. Lack of efforts to address high-profile corruption also influenced the result while pervasive conflict of interest—manifested in the holding of political and government positions perceived as means of enrichment—was also seen in the outcome. The state’s role, especially in the financial and banking sector crisis, including in loan default and fraud, and the political control of contracting and recruitment business were also reasons for the result.

The deficit in the effectiveness of the Anti-Corruption Commission, especially in terms of holding the ‘big fish’ to account and shrinking media and civil society space, the deficit of tolerance of dissent also worked as factors in the result.

In view of the unprecedented level of corruption in Bangladesh, and the alarming rise in the number of organized violations of human rights of ordinary people, politicians, intellectuals, journalists, women, and members of minority communities.

Many of us have a question that many corrupt scam leaked in public but did they get proper punishment? The answer is “No”. Does one incident establish rampant corruption in Bangladesh? “No” could be the also answer. The Revenue Department and law-enforcers taken stern actions against the corrupt, rowdy brokers instead of punishing the victim by transferring him to a training academy! Recently, a senior Cabinet Minister justified government officials’ taking “speed money” from people, in exchange of giving them service. As if public servants aren’t paid to do their job with taxpayers’ money!

Some examples of recent corruptions are Regent hospital’s scam, Covid-19 fake tests, fake masks supplied to hospitals, price for the equipment’s of some institutions is too high, political leader Papia’s illegal activities, Farmers bank scam, Bangladeshi’s member of parliament Papul arrested for Kuwait human trafficking enrollment, Casino activities, Barapukuria graft case indictment and so on.

Lack of transparent and accountable governance, and the prevalence of impunity for well-connected people shroud the real extent of corruption in Bangladesh. Corruption is not all about taking or giving bribe, it’s about what individuals, organizations, and governments often ignore or condone by turning a blind eye to the corrupt practices by their cronies, friends, and political supporters. Politically well-connected criminals just get mild slaps on the wrist for mega scandals. They get away with plundering billions of taka through the share market, government’s development projects (bridges, flyovers, roads and railway tracks), nationalized and private banks, and even by grabbing thousands of acres of land to build mega shopping malls and residential areas. They are too many, and too well-connected and powerful to name!

How can we get rid of this trouble situations? The most important thing that the law enforcement agencies and government should take actions immediately to stop this. The effective delivery of prime minister’s declaration of zero tolerance against corruption without fear or favor should be visible so that the CPI performance could be improved. Effective law enforcement is essential to ensure the corrupt are punished and break the cycle of impunity, or freedom from punishment or loss.

Successful enforcement approaches are supported by a strong legal framework, law enforcement branches and an independent and effective court system.Reforms focusing on improving financial management andstrengthening the role of auditing agencies have in many countries achieved greater impact than public sector reforms on curbing corruption.

Countries successful at curbing corruption have a long tradition of government openness, freedom of the press, transparency and access to information. Access to information increases the responsiveness of government bodies, while simultaneously having a positive effect on the levels of public participation in a country. Strengthening citizens’ demand for anti-corruption and empowering them to hold government accountable is a sustainable approach that helps to build mutual trust between citizens and government. For example, community monitoring initiatives have in some cases contributed to the detection of corruption, reduced leakages of funds, and improved the quantity and quality of public services. Without access to the international financial system, corrupt public officials throughout the world would not be able to launder and hide the proceeds of looted state assets. Major financial sectors urgently need to put in place ways to stop their banks and cooperating offshore financial sectors rom absorbing illicit flows of money. And finally if we can establish this norms and systems then we will find a corruption less society in our country.

Writer: Mainuddin Saleh, Honors Final year, Session: 2016-17

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