CHENNAI: Alarmed by the galloping corruption derailing development on all fronts, a large army of socially conscious educationists and entrepreneurs have come together to launch a 'think-tank' promising efforts to force transparency in governance. The 'Economic Development Society' has a long list of pledged responsibilities but fighting corruption will undoubtedly be the top priority. And buoyed by his pro-people activism, EDS got Governor Banwarilal Purohit for its inaugural in the city on Friday.
“Corruption in any form and at any level is detrimental to the economic development of the country”, said Governor Purohit in his inaugural address, while calling upon the people to join hands with the Prime Minister in putting down corruption. He also listed out the various steps taken by the PM to weed out corruption, including GST, demonitisation and cutting IT rates down to 30 per cent from the nearly 90 per cent that prevailed sometime ago.
The Governor said the Centre had taken several measures to ease investment for development of industries in India. “Our foreign exchange reserves are comfortable and the fiscal deficits of the Centre and States are being regulated through statute. All this makes India a well-managed nation, financially speaking”, he said.
EDS president G. Viswanathan in his address reminded that corruption “is the big stumbling for development” and urged for “strong action” to fight the malice on all fronts. Arguing that a good beginning could be made by legislating drastic cut in the number of political parties in the country, he said. “I want family planning to be applied for political parties. Limit their number and have the government to fund their election expenses. This will bring down corruption in a big way”, he argued, pointing to reports of huge bribing of voters by the candidates and parties in various elections. “This cannot go on forever; we have to reform, develop”. The US and the UK have only two main parties whereas there are over 2000 in India. “Tamil Nadu is the leader with over 200 parties”, said Dr Viswanathan, who is also founder-chancellor, VIT.
Arguing that every able-bodied Indian should be made to work to earn wages, he pointed out that productivity in the MGNREGA was dismal though four lakh crore rupees were spent on it in the last 10 years-over `40000 crore in Tamil Nadu alone. On the industrial sides, production should be stepped up as India was losing 130-140 billion dollars every year by imports, Dr Viswanathan said....