TELECOM SCAM, ADARSH HOUSING SOCIETY SCAM, COMMON WEALTH GAMES SCAM, BANGALORE IT PARK SCAM INVOLVING YEDDYURAPPA'S SON .......
INTERVIEW WITH PRAKASH KARAT, GENERAL SECRETARY, CPIM
Q: Why does a JPC have more sanctity than the Public Accounts Committee(PAC)? Sections within the Congress opine that the CAG report has not incriminated anyone and that the individuals concerned have been removed from their posts?
A: After the CAG report confirmed that there was large-scale manipuclation of the system, the Congress leadership had no other option but to ask Raja to resign. But that does not end the issue. What is required is to find out how such a massive scam could be perpetrated and how an entire system could be manipulated. That is why we haved demanded a JPC that can go into all the ramifications. I do not know why the Congress party and government refuse to constitute a JPC. During the period of the NDA government when the Congress was in the opposition, it demanded JPCs for the Tehelka tapes and for other corruption scandals. The 2G telecom scam is much bigger than these earlier scams. It has caused the single largest loss to the exchequer.
The removal of the people who are responsible from their position is the first step, whether it is the CWG corruption or the Adarsh Housing Scam. In all such cases, what is required is prompt investigation, filing of cases and prosecution of those guilty. In the case of the 2G spectrum issue, the most important step would be to cancel the licences of the companies that illegally got the allocation.
Secondly, there should be an auction of the spectrum so that the government can recoup the losses. The commitment set up to inquire into the CWG is useless as it is without any powers. What is needed is investigation fiing of cases and prosecution. The CBI and other investigating agencies like the ED should conduct join investigations.
Q - Are all these corruption scandals an outcome of a kind of policy that has been pursued since the 1990s and that the face of corruption has changes somewhat in this period?
A- After liberalisation, what has developed is a nexus between big business, politicians and the bureaucrats. Under the neoliberal regime, corporates, multinational companies are able to suborn policymaking. If one side of 2 G spectrum is Raja, on the other side are corporates who try to get famous. In the recent case of officials of banks taking bribes for giving loans to the real estate sector, corporates are involved in the bribing. But the government refuses to acknowledge the nexus that has developed. Even some of the regulators are in connivance.
This is not just because politicians need money to fight elections. The loot of public funds is a form of accumulation of capital in the country. Without fighting against this system and policies, corruption can not be curbed or eliminated.