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Millennium Post

Now, transparency in private sector?

Despite the uproarious reception of the stunning success of the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi assembly polls, there has been barely a noise on this issue in the corporate sector. India Inc, which has been hitherto going gaga over Narendra Modi and his style of technocratic, ‘minimum governance’ to facilitate private sector’s unbridled ambitions in the domestic market, is clearly wary of Arvind Kejriwal’s decidedly pro-people stance, and lives in fear of his next moves. The business community, which has so far reaped the benefits of having a thoroughly corrupt government in the Centre, and its equally corrupt regional allies, minting money at the expense of massive losses to the public exchequer, has now been forced to sit up and take notice of the new kind of politics that comes in tow with Kejriwal and his band of men. The AAP’s economic agenda, which is to bring in transparency in the government and bureaucratic machinery, can equally extend to the private sector, with the big companies brought in under the ambit of CAG audits. As their manifesto spells out, the AAP is already strategising means to halve the power and water prices in the national capital, and even though their ambitions have been branded ‘utopian’, evidently, there’s some truth in their claims. Unlike the UPA government in the Centre, which junked the Adarsh Committee report within days of passing the Lokpal Bill, the AAP state government in Delhi would be confronted with the mammoth task of dealing with corporate giants such as Reliance, the companies that run the show in the city, starting from distributing electricity at inflated prices to running the Delhi Metro airport express line until 8 July when it terminated its services abruptly.

Evidently, corruption is not limited to the public sector and the elite benefitting from the system rot is hand in glove, fused with both the public and private sector and maintaining the nefarious status quo that cheats the common man of his due shares and converts tax-payers’ money into their own.
Scam after scam has pulled the lid off the nexus between politicians, bureaucrats, ministers and corporate top brass. Be it the coal block allocation, 2G spectrum telecom scandal, VVIP choppergate, fodder scam – the circuit of corruption and fraudulence extends far, wide and deep into our ideological state apparatuses and superstructures, which promote the self-serving culture of unabashed greed practiced by a small minority at the expense of the teeming millions, poor and hungry. In fact, the AAP’s left-of-the-centre economic agenda has taken the punch out of the Congress’ politics of patronage and large-scale fraudulence, giving welfare economics a bad name. Moreover, the government has also allowed hundreds of corporate companies, particularly the big wigs, to get away with bad loans, converting borrowings from the public exchequer to non-performing asset within the company and filling up their own personal coffers. As the RBI report has recently pointed out, corporate bank defaulters have been responsible for a substantial chunk of the economic slump in the country, with over Rs one lakh crore lost in bad debt, thanks to corporate debt restructuring laws, which let them off. This is appalling, to say the least, especially when the common man is made to bear the brunt of the economic slowdown by paying more for the basic needs. Now it is up for this ‘people’s government’ to deliver on these lines as well, and not just clean up the governmental structures.
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