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Solution to Eradication of Corruption

(a modified version published on 12.07.2003 in the daily Times,Lahore and the Daily Dawn, Karachi on 18.07.2003)

Nadeem Yousaf

 

Corruption is steeped in the society and all governments have showed concern to eliminate corruption (at least in words). We have all sorts of laws to curb corruption from the government departments but still it has been increasing since 1947. The issue is why do corruption take place? Without addressing this issue, none of the forcing strategy would eradicate corruption.

 The core reason of corruption is unjust distribution of national wealth and the inadequate salary structure and extrinsic rewards. The first principle of Taylorism and Weberian bureaucracy is that pay properly to workers and employees. Maslow humanistic approach also highlighted the same fact in his theory “hierarchy of needs.” All social and business researchers are not insane who advocate that extrinsic rewards are essential to keep the adequate level of satisfaction and productivity. It is unfortunate we are very enthusiastic in studying American and European books, and study abroad but very lethargic in implanting good principles of those societies in our day-to-day life.

 In the developed countries, there is hardly huge difference of salaries as in Pakistan; for example, it is just a noticeable difference of approximately Kr.50, 000 per annum between the senior most professors and the person who just entered in the academic profession in Norway. The developed countries have calculated minimum expenses of a person and designed salary structure accordingly. Low cadre employees also enjoy the same amenities as upper cadre officials in egalitarian societies such as Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, Canda and so on; low cadre officials such as constable and secretaries afford decent house and modern communication facilities and transport. If senior officials go overseas for holidays so do the low cadre officials in social democratic societies.

 The crux of this comparison is that if developed countries have low level of corruption it is because they all are economically satisfied. In Pakistan, low cadre officials are living hand to mouth and high cadre officials enjoying all sorts of luxuries and still we expect that there should not be corruption in the country.  In Pakistan, university education has become a sole reason to draw high perks and associated with means of earning high income.  In developed countries, a large number of people have not gone in the university, but still they earn handsome amount irrespective of whether they are working in private or public organizations. The corruption will not reduce until and unless we appreciate the fact that all professions and low cadre employees must be valued – no country can progress without them. 

 The corruption will reduce when we really follow the principle of bureaucracy. One of the most important principles of bureaucracy is supremacy of law, which we turned into supremacy of superior. Superior order is considered as an order of Divine even if it is against the law of the country. The developed countries subordinates accept only those orders which fall within domain of the law. We must inculcate in people that they have full right to refuse order of a superior if it is not falling within the given authority.   

 In short, we must remember that corruption, especially in low cadre employees, is chiefly due to inadequate extrinsic rewards and it will never reduce by establishing new departments, hiring consultants on huge perks or introducing strict measures until we respect dignity of individuals and provide adequate means to all to live respectfully.  Raising slogans against corruption without taking corrective measure is analogous to beating the bush.

 

 

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