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Ghani and jihad on corruption

Good governance matters a lot. It matters because the country is mired in an endemic corruption. It matters because the government ministries are failing to utilize their budgets for hundreds of infrastructure projects. From land grabbing to the plunder of natural resources, from the pillage of national wealth to corruption in the governments, there is a long list of economic evils. What did happen of scam of about US$200 million in contracts of the ministry of defense?  Is there any follow up? This is really worth appreciation that at last President Ashraf Ghani declared jihad on corruption.  Irregularities in almost all the government departments with exception to a few have been reported but any bigwig has been behind the bars? Is corruption a punishable offense? Is it a crime at all? If yes then why those involved in corruption don’t feel any sense of fear? Is there any law anyway? And if yes where is that? Just paper based or implemented somewhere on the ground? The government must be stern. It will have to adopt a zero-tolerance policy against corruption. Given that the Ghani has declared jihad on corruption, now he must take it to a logical end and if he fails, its implications will be felt across the country. The government will lose the confidence and support of the general public. Ghani must also take into account that his government, unfortunately, couldn’t take a good start from the very outset. He has to do too many things at home even if someone doesn’t talk on the issues we have been facing on external fronts. Kabul religious scholars have not only appreciated Ghani’s declaration of jihad against corruption, but they have called on him to start it from the Presidential Palace. Yes, the Presidential Palace. Because the change must start from the top. Should he start and its positive impacts will be seen all over in the government offices. Then an insane only could dare to do corruption, misuse their official authority. But why the bigwigs get away with the law so easily? Is it just a tool to protect the interests of the political elites and must be there for the poor?  If the government is finding itself unable to lay its hands on the bigwigs involved in the huge corruption scandals, at least it must name them before the nation so that it could know who beguiled them into voting and misused their power to elect. The next time they wouldn’t be in the government. The government must also carve out budget consumption policy as the general public is curious to know why the government ministries are failing in spending their budgets properly. There were 718 infrastructure projects in the 2014 national budget but because of poor spending mechanism, the spending for 347 projects were zero. The government should launch a thorough probe into the matter so that it could reach the fathom of the reality that why those sitting in the ministries are failing in proper expenditures? Is it a new trick and attempt to pave way for corruption? Or some big-guns use the budgets in their personal businesses and return the money at the end of the year so that they could circumvent with the law? As far as the development expenditure is concerned the government must raise its efficiency through property resources utilization. A new culture must evolve—a culture that is highly intolerant against corruption. Widespread information, people’s empowerment, greater accountability of government authorities, education, and above all, a stronger political leadership committed to deliver good governance and ensure rule of law are essentials to create such a culture.

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