CPI asks PM to clarify whether he endorsed legalising bribery

Terming a proposal by government`s Chief Economic Adviser to legalise bribery as "dangerous and unethical", the CPI asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to clarify whether he endorsed it.

Last Updated: Apr 23, 2011, 21:05 PM IST

New Delhi: Terming a proposal by
government`s Chief Economic Adviser to legalise bribery as
"dangerous and unethical", the CPI on Saturday asked Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh to clarify whether he endorsed it.

"I am alarmed by a recent proposal of the Chief
Economic Adviser, whereby paying bribes would be made legal.
This proposal, made by Professor Kaushik Basu in a paper
posted on the Finance Ministry`s website, is dangerous and
unethical.
"It is especially objectionable at a time when the
entire nation is concerned about the spread of corruption,"
CPI National Secretary D Raja said in a letter to the Prime
Minister.

He also urged Singh to clarify whether he endorsed
Basu`s proposal and demanded the removal of the paper from the
official website.
"At a time when corruption is a major issue for the
nation, and when there is a surge of popular resentment
against corruption, it is alarming to see the Government`s
Chief Economic Advisor making superficial comments on this
issue and making proposals that would effectively condone
corruption", the CPI leader said.

"Making it legal to pay bribes would undermine the
values of honesty and integrity. Indeed, it would make people
who don`t pay bribes look like fools", Raja said, adding that
even the economic reasoning underlying Basu`s recommendation
was "far from convincing".

From a common sense point of view, the idea that
corruption can be prevented by inducing people to blow the
whistle on their own acts of bribery was "quite fanciful", he
said.

PTI

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