We must thank the finance minister for acknowledging the reality that it is the powerful that indulge in corruption, something that is known to all but acknowledged by few. However, we must respectfully take issue with him when he draws the broadest of brushes in painting the entire society as corrupt. And to blame everyone with the collective guilt—for the greed and lust of a few powerful and mighty—is being grossly unfair to the people.
We are sure the finance minister knows very well where the problem lies, and who all are involved in corruption. After all, societal corruption was neither responsible for the thousands of crores of irregular loans given by some public banks, nor for the grossly inflated cost of public constructions, be it roads or buildings.
If people have to cough up money to move even the smallest of files in government offices, or to get the most basic service from a government agency which it is bound to do, it is because they are compelled to do so to get service out of those to whom corruption has become a pathological proclivity. Certainly, corruption has no correlation to how well one is paid, for the position one holds.
He is also aware, we are sure, of the fact that the long-term impact of corruption varies from level to level—the negative impact of corruption at the level of decision and policymakers being the maximum. And that is where the focus should be on.
The issue of corruption is a matter of concern for all, and the prime minister has recently restated her call, this time to the deputy commissioners, to stave it off. Thus we would like to know as to what the finance minister, and indeed the administration, is doing to address the issue, because his statements seem to have presented us with a fait accompli, and something that the finance minister expects us to live with.