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Corruption in India

Corruption in Modern India has 3 main origins: public sector pay and powers, the tax collecting system, and campaign financing. The corruption coming from public sector pay and powers started when the British took over large sections of India in the early 1900s, and the British officials in India were paid very well and had the right to intervene in most aspects of daily life. Howerver, when India gained independence, the Indian prime minister got rid of most of the British colonial powers and reduced salaries in the public sector; because these public employees made so little, they found ways to make more money through administrative coercion and bribes. Corruption is also common with police officers and legal workers. A “baksheesh” is the word for a bribe or tip in India. The corruption with taxation also originated around the time that India gained independence. With the new tax plan, the highest paid people in India were required to pay 93.5 percent in tax by the 1970s. For most people, it was not possible to survive if they paid the amount of taxes that was actually required, invetiably creating tax evasion through corruption. Corruption in campaign financing originated when parts of foreign trade and the sale of liquor became very restricted by the government; parts of the mafia came to control these sectors, which resulted in a large generation of illegal money. Running for office in India costs an inordinate amount, but the legal spending limits for campaigns are extremely low; so, many candidates fund their campaigns with the illegal money generated by these mafias. Candidates often forge campaign documents and owe debts to the different mafias. When these candidates get elected, they are vulnerable to blackmail and are forced to repay the money they borrowed from the mafias. They also are often pressured into implementing legislation that facors the illegal sectors such as foreign trade and the sale of alcohol. Politicians in India are not paid very well either, so they use their position of power to generate more illegal money, making them even more vulnerable to blackmail and sometimes terrorist networks. Each of these factors has created a black hole of corruption in India, and the current amount of illegal Indian money in offshore accounts is estimated to be around $1.4 trillion.