Will the recent demonetization move by Modi stop corruption in India?
Indeed, demonetization is a bold move, but it is not enough to save India from the ever-rampant corruption in India. More time is therefore needed to see if the Modi government’s move would turn into a huge blow against corruption, the hard truth is that the corrupt and fraudulent won’t just conduct shady deals by using cash, but with gold, real estate and overseas assets. Corruption can be bred in a variety of ways. Blocking the circulation of large currency bills is without question far from enough
The recent move on demonetization has no doubt given a huge blow to corruption, as most illegal business is conducted in cash only. In that sense, the move is a risky but but bold and decisive step. Modi means well and had taken into account the fact that if the transactions in cash can be curbed, the intensity of illegal transactions would decrease immensely. His moves to tackle corruption and black money since taking office in 2014 has finally begun to scratch the surface and we can really expect some major policy reforms in the coming years from his government.
No doubt Modi’s demonetization drive has so far proven popular among increasingly aspirational voters who are tired of corruption, although views among the broader population and economists are divided over the efficacy and fairness of the move. It will go a long way in improving the chances of Modi government in the UP elections scheduled early next year.
It must also be kept in mind that delivering a corruption-free country requires more than banning currency notes. The key should be reforming systems. In this regard, India can learn a lot from China, where corruption is considered a serious crime with grave punishments. In fact, anti-corruption has been the focus of the Xi Jinping government since he took over as President in March 2013. Hundreds of officials have been purged – many for massive corruption, although some have also been seen to be political rivals.
Comparatively in India, where even a common man can figure out that most of the netas and babujis are corrupt, still no major actions are taken by the enforcement agencies.
So we must adopt more stringent polices towards corrupt individuals. In that regards, measures such as special courts given complete autonomy to deal with corruption cases may be taken by the government. Demonetization though a brilliant move must therefore be supported with other policy changes as well.
This article was originally published here.