Transparently corrupt

Not everything happening in Nepal is bad. If you just looked at the glass as half full, the news that Nepal has dropped another two notches to now rank #124 among the most corrupt countries in the world is in fact the best news we’ve had so far this year.

Corruption is good for business, it spreads the wealth around through an alternative tax regime, it greases the system so the bureaucracy moves faster, it raises Nepal’s GDP. Without corruption this country would grind to a halt.

What’s that? Didn’t quite catch you. You are saying that the country is already at a standstill, how can it grind to a halt? That is exactly the problem with this country. It is full of cynics like you. Don’t blame corruption for the country’s stagnation, how can we get anywhere if we still have honest cops who refuse to let you go on a traffic violation even if you offer them a cash incentive?

Then there are tax officials at the airport who stubbornly insist on confiscating the extra bottle of whiskey you brought from Bangkok, and to rub salt on the wound, they give you an official receipt for it. And there are ministers who want to actually punish bureaucrats extorting money from contractors on National Pride Projects instead of rewarding them. How will this country ever attain Middle Income Status at this rate?

Finally, we are able to get Don Manange sworn back into Parliament. Populating our federal legislature with members of the mafia, representatives of crime syndicates, cartel owners, the medical-industrial complex, knaves, goons, and mass murderers is the only way we can have a can-do law-making body that will restore Nepal as the proud and glorious nation it once was.

Instead of banning corruption we must find ways of making it work in the national interest. One way to do that is to make malfeasance contribute to Nepal’s macro-economic stability by taxing vice. A service surcharge on graft and bribes would help us redress Nepal’s balance of payments deficit so we can hit the 7.8% growth target for fiscal 2018-19.

Once we legalise corruption, we will become more transparent as a nation. Every time someone from the Ministry of Poultry and Livestock pilfers from the coffers, or a tycoon passes out a hefty baksheesh they will be slapped 13% VAT on the spot.

Investors keen to start joint ventures in Nepal can be given a one-year tax holiday on all bribes they have to pay to lubricate the labyrinths of officialdom. Foreign diplomatic missions and international agencies, will of course have duty-free status, since their presence in our country is governed by the Vienna Protocol.

The Ass


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