I was fortunate to have spent 14hrs with economist Atanu Dey on our journey to watch Great Solar Eclipse 2017. I got some interesting stories about India. Most of those stories are what we already hear from our known contacts. I will generalize some of them as follows.
Story 1: My friend has a transport company. He tells me that in order to get profit they have to transport some 40 tons per trip but the maximum they are allowed will be 25tons. So how do they do it? They just pay around 40k per month per each vehicle and no one will ever catch them and fine them.
Story 2: I wanted to travel from Pune to Mumbai. I go to that taxi stand and many people will be calling you to offer for the taxi. Once I bargained the trip for 1400 and get into one taxi. It happens that the one I bargained is not the driver. He is some middle man. He pays 1000 to the driver and keeps 400. We get to know that it takes around 500 for the gas/petrol and the driver can get around 500 for the trip. So why he paid 400 for the other person?
We know many of those corruption stories. After we listen to them we all used to feel that, those people are corrupt. Actually I think they have to do what they are doing in order to stay in job or to pay off the bribe they had to pay for getting the job. Every penny collected from the last man is split and distributed back to the top. Normal Citizen -> Police Constable -> SI -> SP -> DIG -> Home Minister -> Chief Minister -> Party President
We may not believe that every one in the system are corrupt. But if you apply basic economics we can easily derive these. Why will some govt employees agree to stay in jobs which does not fetch any bribes while some of their colleagues are making lot of money in bribes?
They don’t. The one who got the opportunity got it after paying lot of hefty bribe himself to be in that position. And that so on. That economic principle applies to every cycle there. Even the top people have to do it because it costs that much to get elected to power.
So because we make it so hard for a person without money to get elected, they need money and they have to recover it back.
I am in US now. So how is system in US works? in US there is no such corruption at the lowest level. It may be at the lobbyist levels and it is all public. No one is taking bribes here. So that is the difference?
The single biggest difference I find is that you don’t need permission to do most of the things here. For example if you want to build a house, there will be some regulations. But there is no permission required. You just follow those regulations and build what ever you want. Some one will come and will check it and give his approval. And even if he/she does not approve, they can not do anything. They can just report it back, and you can fight it in the court. They have to show that you did things against the regulations. Till then nothing happens. You keep doing your business.
I think removing all permission system in India and replace them with regulations is the best solution to reduce corruption. To keep the system running, they have to enhance the courts and need to speedup the justice system. So they will do it. And I think that is the solution.
I want a website where there will be all kinds of these problems(corruption stories) listed, and we explore the possible solutions to each of them. If any one is interested in such a site or if such a site already exists let me know.