Thursday, 25 February, 2021
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EDITORIAL

Curbing Corruption



No nation can move ahead on the path of prosperity and achieve the overall development objectives without rooting out the scourge of corruption. There is no denying the fact that the economic development process of the developing countries like Nepal will not gather due momentum unless and until corrupt practices are entrenched in the society. Corruption can undermine the entire development efforts as resources allocated for infrastructures and public services are misused. As corruption also weakens the legitimacy of the state, it is essential for all the nations, especially the poorer ones, to deal with such anomalies in a more effective manner. Lately, corruption has appeared to be an issue of key political and economic importance. Many developing nations have been struggling hard to contain corruption through introducing a wide range of strategies such as institutional reforms at the national and sub-national levels.

Bearing in mind the rampant corruption in different fields at various levels, the government has adopted a zero tolerance approach to bribery and corruption. It is worth mentioning that the Commission for the Investigation and Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has achieved remarkable success in the fight against corruption. The anti-grant body was able to file as many as 414 corruption cases at the Special Court last year. It was a record number since its establishment about three decades ago. Despite this, the CIAA has often drawn public criticisms for just focussing on trivial incidents concerning the misuse of resources. It must be able to bring bigger fishes to its net. However, people have pinned much hope on the CIAA that it would leave no stone unturned when it comes to cracking down on corruption and ensuring transparency, accountability and rule of law in the country.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari, while addressing a function organised Wednesday to mark 30th anniversary of the CIAA, asked the anti-corruption body to impartially investigate into the cases of bribery. She added: “If corruption cannot be controlled effectively, the sources and instruments of the nation will be misused which thereby affects the nation’s system.” She also emphasised the need for the government and the general public to have zero tolerance against corruption. She also urged the CIAA to effectively enforce the anti-corruption strategies developed by the government. Meanwhile, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli called on all the government authorities to make collaborative efforts for combatting corruption efficiently. It is essential for the CIAA and other state apparatuses to work to bring the wrongdoers to justice. They must remain dedicated to this cause. Their endeavours should be based on the universal fact that everyone is equal to the law.

The CIAA should make sure that only dishonest and corrupt persons fall in its trap. This alone will help enhance public confidence towards the commission. As people can play a vital role in controlling corruption, the CIAA must be able to must public support. It is necessary for the CIAA to demonstrate neutrality and boldness while dealing with corruption. A strong political willpower is also required to contain corruption. The CIAA has an important responsibility to shoulder to make Nepal a corruption-free nation with civilised people. To accomplish this, the commission needs to go a long way. 

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