Development and corruption

What is digital economy?Is development and corruption exist together?

Ans: Oxford Dictionary defines corruption as a dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.

“Corruption is the thief of economic and social development, stealing the opportunities of ordinary people to progress and prosper,” said United Nations Development Organisation (UNDO)  chiefYuryFedotov.  Emphasizing connection between corruption and development, Mr Fedotov said that corruption was not simply a crime, it was the instigator of other criminal activities such as transnational organised crime and drug trafficking.

 The rule of law is increasingly being recognized as the foundation for transparency and accountability and enabler of sustainable development, he said.

Corruption has a devastating impact across the world. It is estimated by the World Bank that every year, between US $20 TO US 40 billion dollars are lost from developing countries due to corruption and bribery. The environment also suffers: Costs of infrastructure are increased by corruption by as much as 40 per cent.

While long run data on corruption is very limited, historical examples suggest that corruption has been a persistent feature of human societies over time and space. Two such examples are the sale of parliamentary seats in `rotten boroughs’ in England before the Reforms Act of 1832, and `machine politics’ in the US at the turn of the 19th century.

A possible cause of corruption is the weak productive base, the essential condition for the appearance of shortage which, in turn, spurs corruption.

The evidence shows that socio-political and economic development, politics, power, history and globalization have continued to reproduce and transform the institutional structures and actors which facilitated corrupt practices in developing countries like India. Large sums of government revenue have been undermined by the corrupt practices of the political and economic elite, which in turn enriched a few and impoverished most.

Corruption has played a major role in causing serious damage to the economic and social landscape in developing countries. This in turn has undermined social welfare and also investment in the public services, thereby eroding the quality of life and producing a decline in average life expectancy.

When lucrative contracts are up for grabs, bribery, fraud, and embezzlement can plague large-scale infrastructure projects. Corruption can lead to money being stolen and infrastructure not being built or it can result in half-built or sub-standard and at times dangerous infrastructure.

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