It has been a while since the much debated step of demonetisation of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 denomination notes was taken by our vigorous Prime Minister. There were, and still are mixed emotions regarding demonetisation. It has certainly managed to give a setback to terrorism financing, black money, fake currency and more such anti-national activities.
Demonetisation was expected to mitigate criminal activities, eliminate parallel economy. Parallel Economy is an economy based on black money or unaccounted money, which is a serious issue and hindrance in the growth and development of our country.
The most important step to follow demonetisation is Digitisation. Government procedures in applying for jobs, documents, exams, academic courses, certificates, transfer of subsidies etc. should strictly be done digitally. This will bring transparency and rids the dependency of public on employees of the government. Thus, in turn, reducing opportunities for brining. Educating the people through seminars, radios, TV, about using digital methods for payments and applications is utterly important.
It’s an open secret that the real estate sector is thriving because of black money. This has resulted in inflated prices, making it more and more difficult for the masses to acquire property. All lands and properties for sale should be recorded and made to view online for the public. This will reduce the cases of bribing and creating fake shortages, thus eradicating corruption via nepotism.
Tax havens – another hindrance for the government in collecting taxes. People from India have their money hidden from the world in these countries. The only way to retrieve information on people investing in such tax havens is through diplomatic treaties. People who are found guilty of such crimes have to penalised heavily in order to make an example of.
Another matter which is to be brought to light is that of the political parties to be brought under the scanner of RTI. As per the law, a donation of Rs.20,000 and above only is to be recorded. it is easy for people hoarding black money to make such ‘charitable donations’ to the party. Elections can be very well funded by the State to an extent and the money spent by the parties on campaigning has to be minimised effectively. This can certainly bring in more transparency and reduce chances of buying votes.
A person having convicted by a Court of Law, irrespective of the intensity of the crime must be barred from contesting elections at all levels. Moreover, and this idea is rather farfetched for a country like ours— a candidate wanting to contest an election must be made to clear an exam which can be conducted by the UPSC. Then, it will be up to the party to hand the election ticket to a candidate of their choice, but who has cleared the exam. This will certainly give the people some confidence in the candidates for whom they might be voting for, and give the public in return, better administrators and administration.
Shell companies – companies existing only in records. A periodic physical check has to be conducted for such ghost companies. Stricter norms for chit funds is important as these mostly target the illiterate and the most desperate class of the society. Despite warnings and notices from the government, such companies persist and continue to dupe people off their hard-earned money and are being allegedly back by politicos.
Education – important for any country’s progress. After almost 70 years of independence, it is a pity that we lack international standard education. There are schemes being operated to sell exam papers beforehand, VYAPAM Scam being the best example of this. And there is the everlasting issue of reservation which slowly driving students away to foreign lands, and the ones who can’t afford are left to suffer with inferior jobs despite their capabilities. Such brain-drain will continue for years to come, since India is far from solving all these issues. The private institutions charge unreasonable fees, which can only be afforded by a minor part of the society, thus declining the percentage of people getting into higher education and further creating unemployment.
Public-Private partnership, Judicial activism, laws to protect anonymity of the informers are some the steps which can save our country from the long infected plague of economic and moral corruption. Without these, demonetisation will lose its impact more quickly than envisaged. People have to be made aware of the pros of e-money. Of course, all these things are easier said than done, but for such a powerful country like India, it shouldn’t take too long. Where there is a will, there is always a way!
Author: Akshay Palande
Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.