The Modi government’s decision to ban 500 and 1000 rupee notes and replacing it with new currencies is laudable. It is definitely a right step taken by the government to curb black money and corruption. However, people are facing hardships for exchanging old currency and depositing money but it will prove beneficial for the nation in the long run. Often government claims about abolishing corruption but it has mostly failed to yield any result. Corruption is a global phenomenon and is omnipresent.
“Transparency International” has put India at rank 76 out of 168 countries in its latest Corruption Perception Index. In this race, Denmark was ranked as the least corrupt nation by scoring 91 points, followed by Sweden and Finland. Many campaigns were started by politicians and activists in the country pertaining to eliminating black money and corruption but their endeavour failed to yield results. Whether it was the call of ‘Sampoorna Kranti’ launched by Jayaprakash Narayan in 1974 or Anna Hazare’s movement for passing Jan Lokpal Bill and Baba Ramdev’s campaign against black money all of them have lost its sheen over a period of time.
Our economic growth has been affected by corruption and black money. On the other hand, corruption is prevalent in bureaucracy, judiciary, media and police machinery etc. A report on black money pertaining to bribery was released recently. According to this report, family living in urban areas pays Rs 4400 as bribe every year and a rural household pays Rs 2900 for the same. The survey said that these corruption complaints mostly exist in ‘MNREGA’ and other government initiatives. In cities, a normal family pays bribe of Rs 1800 for job transfer-posting and Rs 600 to traffic police per year.
With the passage of time, corruption is increasing significantly. Therefore the scrapping of currency notes of higher denomination is a right step. The surgical strike of Modi government against corruption and black money will give a new direction to the Indian economy. On one hand, this initiative will project India as nation following transparency on the other hand it will play a vital role in reducing the prices of many products. According to experts, this move will set an agenda for reform in industries like real estate and Sarafa Bazar. It’s a setback for nations that are financing terrorist organizations or playing proxy war against Indian economy by publishing fake notes.
After coming to power, this is the second instance when Modi government has taken initiative to curb black money and corruption. Earlier, the government had formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former Supreme Court judge to probe black money stashed abroad. Despite this no headway was made to curb black money and Modi government had to face flak from the opposition. However after this decision the government has sent across a right message to them.
Vivekanand V. Vimarya
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)