New Delhi: Capturing the country`s mood, the 12th Plan blueprint, finalised on Saturday, said corruption in administration is weakening the confidence of citizens and is imposing enormous costs.
"Corruption at various levels of administration is weakening the confidence of citizens in the quality of governance and is also imposing enormous costs since a system vulnerable to corruption is more easily manipulated by the rich and the powerful," the Approach Paper to the 12th Plan said.
The blueprint to the next Plan (2012-17) was approved by the full Planning Commission which met here under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It called for setting up of institutions like Lokpal and Lokayuktas.
It said economic reforms have eliminated corruption from many areas like import and industrial licensing, but "there are other areas where it has surfaced".
Rapid economic growth has led to sharp increase in the value of natural resources like minerals, or telecom spectrum or land, it said. "As long as these resources are allotted on the basis of discretion exercised on a non-transparent manner, the perception of corruption and also its likelihood increases," the Paper added.
The Paper said in the absence of effective mechanisms for investigating corrupt practices, quickly prosecuting those suspected to be involved, and obtaining convictions from the courts, an increase in corruption is unavoidable.
Concerned about the widespread menace, it said, "Corruption is far too prevalent and needs to be tackled to top half, but this is hardly meaningful given the high corruption levels.”
"Noting that corruption at various levels is weakening the confidence of citizens in the quality of governance, the Commission pointed out that while in the past, economic reforms have eliminated corruption from many areas where it was earlier widespread, for example industrial licensing and import licensing, there are other areas where it has surfaced.”
"Rapid economic growth has meant sharp increase in the value of natural resources and as long as these resources -- whether they are minerals, or spectrum or land -- are allotted on the basis of discretion exercised in a non-transparent manner..."
"In the absence of effective mechanisms for investigating corrupt practices and quickly prosecuting those suspected to be involved and obtaining convictions from the courts, an increase in corruption is unavoidable," it said.
The Commission further suggested that an analysis of levels of satisfaction and reasons thereof would be extremely useful if done concurrently as programmes get implemented and civil society and other independent agencies must be charged with this responsibility.
The Commission said it has made a case for introducing a framework law governing the functions of independent regulators in different sectors other than the financial sector.