Bloomberg News

Indian Business Leaders Say Anti-Corruption Law Won’t End Graft

October 10, 2011

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- A proposed anti-corruption law pending before India’s parliament won’t end the graft that affects citizens on a daily basis, according to a letter signed by prominent businessmen.

Following nationwide protests in August in support of a fast by an anti-corruption campaigner, the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh toughened its proposals. The bill before lawmakers will create a new body with powers to investigate bureaucrats, appoint ombudsmen at the state level and prepare citizens’ charters that would subject ministries to public scrutiny.

The bill is “only one small but critical step in the national task of weeding out the plague of corruption” the letter signed by businessmen including Wipro Ltd. Chairman Azim Premji and the chairman of Housing Development Finance Corp., Deepak Parekh, said. On its own it’s “unlikely to have any significant impact on the day-to-day corruption which is insidious and demeaning.”

Singh’s administration has been under pressure to tackle corruption since the arrest and jailing of a cabinet minister belonging to a regional ally on charges he conspired to award mobile-phone licenses to ineligible companies during a 2008 sale.

--Editors: Mark Williams, David Merritt

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Macaskill in New Delhi at amacaskill@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net


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