Ending Corruption

Corruption is antithesis to development and prosperity whereas good governance is prerequisite for the same. Of the factors for Nepal’s underdevelopment, corruption is understandably the worst one. Ask anyone for sluggish development pace and luck lustre service delivery, they will certainly point out at rampant corruption. It is in this context of chronic problem of corruption that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday reiterated to root out corruption and launch campaign to end misconducts and malpractices in the country. Responding to the queries raised by lawmakers during deliberations on the Appropriation Bill at the National Assembly meeting Prime Minister Oli rightly said that development was not likely without good governance and prosperity was not possible without development, and made it a point that the nation would advance on the path of prosperity by controlling corruption. The PM said the wrongdoers would be booked while the decent ones should be encouraged, and monitoring would be beefed up to prevent irregularities. If Nepal is compared with the other south Asian countries in terms of corruption, four are better and two are worse than us, according to Corruption Perception Index 2017 of the Transparency International (TI). With 31 score, Nepal has been ranked 122nd among the 180 countries in the TI’s corruption rating in 2017. Those countries which score less than 50 are considered as highly corrupt countries as per the TI’s standard, and by scoring only 31 points, Nepal’s international image is that of an extremely corrupt country. This is a national stigma in the global picture. This situation only calls for more effective performance from constitutional bodies for controlling corruption, such as Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), and the government mechanisms.

Good governance has been a catchword for every Prime Minister since the reinstatement of democracy in 1990. But the situation has not changed much albeit Nepal has lately improved in its global corruption ranking, for instance, Nepal was in 131st position among 176 countries in 2016 while it was in 122nd position among 180 countries in 2017. One can expect much more improvement in such rating given the way Prime Minister Oli has been focused on uprooting corruption. It should be noted here that even during election campaign in 2017, PM Oli, then as chairman of the erstwhile CPN-UML and a leader of the left alliance, vowed in Biratnagar on November 4 that the left alliance was ‘determined to wipe out corruption’. The election manifesto of the left alliance, now the Nepal Communist Party, also states that its government would adopt zero tolerance policy on corruption. Making commitment is easier than keeping one’s words. But, a person with strong will power can also translate words into action in an ‘easier done than said’ manner. And, as PM Oli has proved his will power in many fronts, it is hoped his volition to end corruption will be put into action so that the country moves forward to the path of development and prosperity.

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