Demonetisation was a historic decision that dealt a heavy blow to black money, fake currency, terrorist and naxalite activities all in one go. It is expected to drastically reduce criminal activities, finish parallel economy and benefit the financial structure of our country in the long run.
Digitalisation should be the natural successor to demonetisation. Procedures for applying for various government documents, exams, courses, issuing of certificates, transferring of subsidies must strictly adhere to digital platform. It brings about transparency and eliminates the dependence of public on employees thus removing chances of bribe-taking. Seminars, fairs, messaging and other platforms must be utilised to make people familiar with these measures and educate them about its benefits.
Black money has been heavily invested in the real estate sector in our country. This has resulted in inflated prices making it very difficult for common citizens to acquire property. Scant acts of vigilance raids will not be sufficient as the population of our country is very large and it would be very difficult to keep track of every shady person. So, all land and property records must be scanned, digitalised and made open to public. Thus, the enforcement directorate and income tax department will get more information from public. It will become very easy for officials to compare the property holdings with the tax returns and fault people not complying with the set norms.
An additional scheme folks have used to hide their ill-gotten wealth is to hide them in safe tax havens like Swiss banks and all. The government should use diplomatic platforms to get this money back and use it for developmental purposes. The Indian government should collaborate with other countries to formulate laws that would prevent citizens from committing tax frauds. Heavy punishment should be specified for these people to get the message through.
An exemplary suggestion that has been ignored long is bringing political parties under RTI jurisdiction. The law states that records of a donation of amounting to more than 20000 have only to be maintained. It becomes easier for corrupt individuals to sink their money into the accounts of these institutions. Thus the lower limit must be reduced to zero. Elections can be made state-funded to make them more transparent. Legislations must be implemented appropriately to prevent social criminals from contesting election. It is often seen that the kin of political heavyweights indulge in corruption rotting the system from inside. Additional steps must be taken to make the investigating and law-enforcing agencies more independent and powerful and out of the clutches of the executive.
Shell companies are non-existent companies or companies that exist only in records used for scams. The company laws must be made stronger and all registered companies must be checked properly and regularly to avoid these schemes. Chit funds have long looted the poor public of their hard-earned money. Immediate steps must be taken to stop these agencies. It assumes utmost importance since they target the illiterate and easily dupable public belonging to the lower strata of the society. Despite many assurances, these institutions still operate in various parts of our country and are backed by rich and powerful politicians.
Proper education is essential for future of any country. But it is our misfortune that after 69 years of independence, a world-class educational system is still not in place. Racquets operate to buy and sell question papers. Criminals easily forget that they are playing with the future of many bright minds. Reservation system steals the opportunity from many deserving candidates. Instead of providing the backward class with prospects of development, quota system is encouraged for quick votes. Private institutions charge heavily. Only people with high income can avail their facilities. Even medical field which is directly related with the health and life of public is not exempted from it. A thorough analysis of all the problems plaguing the structure has to be done and steps must be taken to eliminate them.
Awareness campaigns must be organised to educate the public about the ill-effects of corruption, frauds and use of government platforms to air their grievances. Laws must be implemented strictly to protect the anonymity of the informers. Civil society must become active to protest against any deformities in the system. Judiciary must be expanded and adequately staffed to give judgements faster. With additional efforts from every echelon of society we will easily be able to experience a cleaner system.
- SAI JIJNASA ROY