The menace of corruption is generally criticised by the people. The government in power is always held responsible for the misuse of power and resources of the state. However, people blame the governing parties for the crumbling situation of Pakistan pertaining to the corruption.
Corruption is basically a multifaceted phenomenon with numerous causes and effects. It ranges from a single act of an illegal payment to the common breakdown of a political and economic system. The problem has been seen either as a structural problem of politics or economics, or as a cultural and individual moral problem. The scale of this issue is so huge that sixty-eight per cent of countries worldwide have a serious corruption problem. In the Corruption Perception Report 2017 issued by Transparency International (TI) more than two-third of countries score below 50 with the average score of 43. Pakistan has the score of 32 and is ranked 117 out of 180 countries. Unfortunately this evil practice has become dynamically inherent in the entire system of Pakistan, petty to grand, including widespread financial and political corruption, nepotism, and misuse of power.
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Pakistan is largely infected with corruption from personal level to countrywide scale. Over the period, wide acceptability has been witnessed along with lesser resistant attitude of people involved in this crime. Common man is more interested in low or moderate form of corruption regarding day to day activities i.e. education, employment, health, judiciary and police etc. From bribery in the procurement of resources, and partiality in the recruitment of staff, to skewing the verdicts in favor of influential elites are resulting in increased inequality: poor quality human capital which is further impacting the economic growth of Pakistan.
However, Policy choices are frequently driven by personal and political agendas causing general misallocation of public expenditures as certain areas of government spending are targeted more for their capacity to generate bribes than their potential to improve living standards. Corruption in government and law enforcement sectors has adversely impacted the investment and FDI in country, because investors generally view corruption as an additional cost of doing business because of weak institutions and negligible protection of property rights which has negative impact on human capital development, employment generation, technology absorption and foreign exchange is seen as consequence.
Moreover, tax evasion is also a big problem; one reason of tax evasion is the corruption in revenues generated by the taxation. The reason could be at individual level as well, as people find it less expensive to pay bribes rather than paying taxes and fines hence creating a negative externality through lower government revenues resulting in lower government spending on development.
All these factors directly or indirectly have contributed to sluggish growth of Pakistan. Despite the worsening impact of corruption in Society, why do people not fight against it?
In a highly corrupt society where the marginal benefit of being corrupt outweighs the one of being honest, remaining corrupt is a stable equilibrium that is resistant to anti-corruption reforms.
The problem is deeply rooted in order to combat this evil; change should commence from an individual level and prevail to a state level. Government should improve the governance, quality of institutions, transparency, empowering the general public by giving them the right to hold the governance accountable, punishing the culprits and most importantly develop financial systems and agreements internationally to eradicate the vices of money laundering and offshore assets to mitigate corrupt practices in the country.