(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 14, 2010
Speedy Probe Needed Into Mega Corruption
EVEN before the hype of president Obama’s visit could ebb, the winter session of the parliament took off on a stormy note. Corruption in high places was the focus with the exposure of mega scams in rapid succession. The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the sale of 2G spectrum by the telecom ministry has resoundingly vindicated the allegations that this column has been exposing during the last three years. The Adarsh housing society scam in Mumbai and various scams associated with the recently-concluded Common Wealth Games (CWG) figured in demands for thorough investigation and bringing culprits to book. These are the latest entries in the volume of scams that has already been fattened by earlier scams like illegal mining and illegal exports of our mineral resources.
At the outset, it must be
that all these scams are part of the vastly growing crony capitalism
under the neo-liberal
economic reforms dispensation. Nepotism
in awarding contracts, sweet heart deals in cheaply disposing off
properties and creating illegal and new
avenues for money laundering are some of the forms that crony
takes. The prime minister is, on record,
to say that
Hoping to take the steam
out of the
opposition in the parliament before it assembled for the day on
Congress party removed its
This notwithstanding, the
telecommunications minister continues to hold office even after the CAG
has revealed that a total sum of Rs 1,76,379 crores was the loss to the
government’s exchequer due to his ministry’s decisions on the sale of
spectrum. CPI(M) MPs who had been
raising these issues since February 2008 had estimated
a loss of Rs 1,90,000 crores due to the
manner in which the 2G spectrum was sold.
Now that evidence has been furnished by the CAG to the president
The scams associated with
have been subject matter of public discourse.
The CWG organising committee has now put out full page
all national dailies justifying their expenditures and suggesting that
everything was transparent and clean.
However, the figures available on the CWG website then showed
cost of renovating the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was a whopping Rs 961
crore. Likewise, the renovation of the
Indira Gandhi Stadium was Rs 669 crore; the Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium was Rs 262 crore; the Karni Singh
shooting ranges was Rs 149 crore and so on.
A total of Rs 44,459.48 crore was spent on renovations. Compare these figures with the fact that the
construction of a brand new state-of-the art stadium in
Adarsh housing society scam points to a sordid saga of
between retired military bosses, the
In addition to these latest scams, appropriate action in the scams exposed earlier like illegal mining etc still remain to be taken. Clearly, while the prime minister decries crony capitalism, the UPA-II government with its aggressive pursuit of neo-liberal economic policies is only nurturing and promoting such crony capitalism.
The question of corruption
places has reached such a level that in
the 2010 ranking of various countries by Transparency International,
In the coming days, while the parliament will be engaged with these scams, it is necessary to intensify popular struggles to put pressure on this government and force it to take effective action against those found guilty.
(November 10, 2010)