Corruption in Pakistan; Causes, Consequences and Solutions
Corruption in Pakistan
Corruption is a volatile concept perceived in various ways yet the most prevailing ones are illegality and breach of duty. Corruption is the abuse of power by an individual in the position of power granted by the state. It encapsulates misuse of power, bribery, kickbacks in illicit transactions, embezzlements, misappropriation of public resources and funds. Corruption could arise at different levels it can occur in lower offices and may occur in high government strata but for this one needs to have infiltration in judicial, economical and political establishments. If a state fails to curb corruption because of social, political and economic instability it may erupt as an endemic and pervade the whole system. There are various indicators of corruption like conflicting interests, low wages, freedom from liability, discretionary policies and lack of transparency. Pakistan is struggling with this evil since its inception. The crime is punishable through various laws but no corruption giant is yet punished because of a lack of political commitment and reforms. Corruption is normalised by the public and servants in different departments take it as an incentive. Pakistan is the 140th least corrupt country out of 180 in the corruption perception index reported by Transparency International. Due to corruption, the loss made to the national exchequer is 200 billion per annum, the loss is done by all government departments but prominently by the power sector, taxa and customs, police and law enforcement, judiciary, education and health and land administration reported by perception survey, Transparency International.
Causes of Corruption in Pakistan
There are many reasons of corruption like scarce wages, low transparency, and freedom from liability but the most prominent is that society finds excuses and normalises certain activities. Corruption is one of them both the victimised and victimizer consider it normal. One takes it as an incentive while the other gave it as a transaction fee i.e. it saves time of one and saves a person from frequent visits.
Consequences of Corruption in Pakistan
The consequences of corruption are wide and everlasting. It is a direct impediment in the way of FDI. It gives rise to a vicious rampant, huge corruption in WAPDA, tax collections, customs and excise and costly public purchases and major public sector entities like railway, PIA and steel mail cause severe deficit every year due to which government take debts from international banks. The corruption which is done in higher strata impacts the lives of the masses. Billions of developmental budgets are eaten up by corrupt officials. Every year billions of budgets are allocated to development but no development has been seen yet in any sector. The budget allocated falls prey to various commissions which either disappear the whole project or impact the quality of work i.e. a road which ought to work for almost a decade shows its real face in a year. Corruption is also widely permeated political arenas. The horse-trading, hounding of voters, hoarding, rigging and manipulation of results are common things in elections. One has to pay the party to get a ticket. The investment which is done at the time of election is withdrawn later on with double profit. This evil can also be seen in businesses: low-quality manufacturing, stealing the name of some other company and using it as your own, hoodwinking, hoarding and black markets are common examples of corruption in businesses. According to World Economic Forum, global competitiveness report 2007-08 corruption is the third greatest problem in Pakistan for companies doing business after government bureaucracy and poor infrastructure. The national exchequer lost 200 billion per annum reported by Transparency International. Unbridled corruption impacts all spheres and the whole of society has suffered serious blows to its working environment.
Solutions of Corruption in Pakistan
A good deal of work is done by the government in form of the formation of various institutions and laws. Various institutions are framed like Anti- Corruption Department, Ihtisab Commission, and National Accountability Bureau. Some projects like NACS and project of improvement and auditing are brought into action. The new Police Order 2002 was reorganized. Accountability efforts were good but much of them were destroyed by NRO. NAB the prime agency was used for arm twisting of politicians.
The government tackle poor governance, and all the laws should be implemented with true spirit. The SC judgement against NRO is implemented. All the Anti-Corruption entities should be made free from any external pressure.