Middlemen bleed country: writer

Updated - November 01, 2016 08:53 pm IST

Published - September 25, 2016 12:00 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram:

The thriving culture of intermediaries prevalent in the country breed corruption, writer and National Security Editor with The Hindu Josy Joseph has said.

He was speaking at an ‘in conversation’ event with journalist M.G. Radhakrishnan, as part of the State-wide release of his book ‘A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India.’

“The government resources are limited. The institutions are extremely cruel and corrupt. In the India of present, if you want a billion dollar deal with the government, you have no other way but to pay bribes. At the lower levels, in our daily life too, these kinds of intermediaries create an extra hurdle for us. This led me to study middlemen in Indian politics, as part of my book,” said Mr. Joseph.

Election expenditures

Pointing out the huge election expenditures of political parties as one of the causes for corruption, he said the biggest challenge for every party is to find funds to fight the next election.

“As per unofficial figures, a total of Rs.20,000 crore was spent by all parties in the last general elections. But not even half of this money has been officially accounted for. The rest is part of the black money economy. Political parties thus have to depend on black money, which is why none of them are keen to fight it,” he said.

He said though the Modi government constituted a Special Investigation Team to crack down on black money, no action was taken on one of the biggest complaints that reached before it – the complaint against the Adani group.

Mr. Joseph said India had one of the most corrupt defence purchase systems. He said this was impeding indigenous development of defence systems, for which it was fully capable.

This was being prevented at the highest levels, as purchases were beneficial to them.

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