Bribery by private sector is rampant, says Transparency International
Trithesh Nandan | January 17, 2012
The central vigilance commission (CVC) will soon come out with the details of recently-unearthed scams in the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG). "We are ready with the report and just need to release it in public," R Sri Kumar, a vigilance commissioner with the CVC said here on Monday. He was speaking at the release of a Transparency International report on the assessment of integrity pact in public sector undertakings (PSUs).
Kumar gave very few details of the special cell of the CVC which investigated the irregularities in the government spending on the Games.
“Taxes to the tune of Rs. 450 crore have not been realised from the bills so far. The amount was to be paid for statutory compliance under TDS, VAT, services tax. Out ,” said Kumar. He added that the tax authorities had acknowledged Rs 380 crore of the Rs 450 crore as unpaid taxes and had served legal notices to the defaulting parties.
The vigilance commissioner said that the special cell's report has details of financial irregularities and names the parties involved. The cell had been formed in early 2011 after several corruption-related complaints surfaced against government officials over the execution of CWG projects. The CVC investigated at least 71 projects worth several crore executed by the civic and construction agencies in the run-up to the games in October, 2010.
However, Kumar did not give any information on the date of release of the report.
The Transparency report says that the government should bring a strong tool to deter corruption in the private sector. "Bribery is rampant among the officials of private firms. They pay bribes to officers of other private companies to get their work done," said the 109-page report.
“There are various instances, where bribes are routed through sub-contractors, big bidder companies, including MNCs are very much into it,” it noted.
The report mentioned that though defence ministry has signed the integrity pact with the TI, many defence sector PSUs were yet to commit.
Integrity pact is a tool devised by the TI to curb corruption in public procurement. Since 2006, only 44 PSUs have signed integrity pact with the TI. The report noted that Gas Authority of India Ltd. saved Rs. 362 crore after signing integrity pact. “96 percent PSUs felt that the integrity pact has helped in making procurement process more transparent,” the report held.
The prime minister Manmohan Singh in his speech on August, 2009 had mentioned the pact as a tool to curb corruption.