Corruption-free system: Biz leaders adore Anna Hazare

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Anna Hazare
New Delhi, Aug 28: With the nation's focus on corruption as highlighted by Anna Hazare, business leaders see an opportunity for cleaning up the system by openness and abolition of red tape which generates corruption.

Assocham called for "bold and concrete steps" to ensure "effective, transparent and accountable" governance. Assocham also supported creation of accountable institutions along the lines of Election Commission, its president Dilip Modi said.

SP Hinduja, chairman, Hinduja Group Worldwide gave specific suggestions for eradication of corruption, including legalising contributions by individuals and businesses to political parties and bringing funds held offshore into the accounting system by imposing a one-time tax of 15-30 per cent as was done by the US and other countries.

Hinduja also called for introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in order to urgently streamline transactions and bring greater transparency to them.

Other measures suggested by him include reducing the large number of permissions required for new projects and awarding mega projects to businesses on condition of building social infrastructure in education healthcare and water supply.

Efforts must be taken up to break the unholy nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen that has created an entire parallel economy to corner the benefits of rapid growth, he said.

Corruption, he said, is now seriously affecting governance in India with consequences for its social cohesion, inclusive economic growth, inflows of foreign investment and even internal security.

Making his stand clear in favour of a strong Lokpal Bill, Godrej Group chairman Adi Godrej also suggested reducing the number of government permissions required could help curb corruption.

"I feel the best way to tackle corruption is to drastically reduce issues on which government permissions or discretionary decisions are required and make all government sales and purchases of assets, goods and services by a transparent auction," Godrej said.

While most of the corporate leaders stayed away from making direct comments on the ongoing issue, top industrialists like UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya, Mahindra & Mahindra vice-chairman and MD Anand Mahindra and Biocon's CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw have been expressing their views through social media like twitter.

"I support Team Anna's movement against corruption which must b (sic) eradicated. But this takes time n (sic) patience n (sic) a careful approach. Not this," Mallya tweeted.

"If Team Anna does not trust Parliament n (sic) its elected representatives, do we need general elections to re- elect acceptable representatives," Mallya questioned.

"Appeal by the PM, opp (sic) leader and speaker is unprecedented and signals respect for public anguish. It should not be dismissed lightly, or go unheeded," Mahindra tweeted on Aug 25.

PTI

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