The 2020 theme for International Anti-Corruption day is “Recover with integrity.” The theme highlights entrusting effective anti-corruption measures for better economic recovery, while emphasizing on the COVID-19 recovery that is believed to be achieved only if there is integrity. The day aims at preventing corruption at all levels.
History of the International Anti-corruption Day:
The UN General Assembly adopted the UN Convention against Corruption on 31st Oct, 2003. This Assembly declared 9th December as the International Anti-Corruption Day for combating and preventing corruption.
Significance of the day:
Corruption accounts for more than 5% of the global GDP. In developing countries like India, funds lost to corruption are 10 times more as reported by UNDP.
Anti-corruption laws in India:
– Any public servant can be punished in charge of corruption under IPC, 1860 and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
– Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988 prevents any benami transactions.
– Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002
– India has also signed the UN Convention against Corruption since 2005 and is one of the signatory countries.
– FCRA Act, 2010 prohibits acceptance of foreign money for government employees, with an exception of 25,000 INR personal gifts.
– RTI Act, 2005 allows the citizens of India to gain information that is being held by any public authority, subject to anything that is related to national interest or right to privacy.
– Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2003 provides for the establishment of Lokpal at center and Lok Ayuktas at the state level. These bodies act independently from the government’s executive branch.
– Companies Act, 2013 aims at preventing corporate fraud.
– Black money and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 levies a penal tax on any undisclosed asset or money held in abroad countries by any Indian citizen.
– Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 aims at preventing economic offenders from evading the prosecution.
– Statutory bodies appointed for investigation into corruption cases are: Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
Recent developments in anti-corruption laws and policies have faced no more contemplation for further reforms or updates. This needs to be analyzed for any practical difficulties in its enforcement.