Wharton Business School, Jindal University and the American Society of International Law host the ICBEC - The Economic Times

May 05, 2016

NEW DELHI: The Wharton Business School, Jindal University and the American Society of International Law have collaborated in hosting the International Conference on Business Ethics and Corruption.

"In the Indian context, there is no issue more pertinent than corruption, more importantly the politicisation of corruption; it is something we should be deeply concerned about," said professor (Dr.) C Raj Kumar, founding vice chancellor, OP Jindal Global University (JGU). Kumar who is also the dean of the Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) added that the criminal justice system in India has become an opportunity for power holders to engage in harassment "the anti-corruption mechanism has become a tool for extortion and harassment for many individuals. "The business aspect of corruption is a very complex issue which occurs across the globe and needs a holistic and detailed insight to resolve the issue" observed Prof. Kumar. Professor Philip M. Nichols, Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, associate director, The Zicklin Center for Research on Business Ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania said, "Singapore and Hong Kong are leading examples of dealing with deep rooted systemic and endemic forms of corruption. Both countries suffered extensively with challenges of rampant corruption in the past years and became notoriously popular for corruption in business and trade. It was almost impossible to have anything done in these countries without paying bribes to officials in charge, but what is remarkable is their transformation and the manner in which they have successfully dealt with the menace of intrinsic corruption." Senior Supreme Court advocate Francis Julian said, "All power holders are involved in corrupt practices. So much that you now live in a polluted environment," He further added that, "People have no hesitation in paying for unaccounted money. We need to seek greater transparency and accountability" "Firm corporate laws and internal control procedures are needed to stop corrupt practices," said Poonam Puri, professor of law at York University in Canada, noted. "What happens inside a company transcends to the general practices outside," noted Melanie Reed from Tufts University in the US, said. Experts agreed that judicial pendency in Indian courts is a major factor that allows corruption to prevail and pervade. Professor Suvrajyoti Gupta, assistant director, Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution, JGLS "There is a wide body of economic literature available, which states that corruption leads to misallocation of resources, inhibits firm growth and creates monopolies." Defining how corruption feeds into extreme political philosophy, Prof. Gupta further noted "In terms of political economy, corruption undermines trust in the state and business organizations, leading to a situation where wealth generation itself starts being visualized as a corrupt and illegitimate activity." "Healthcare is an issue concerning life or death and hence corruption in this sector can prove to be highly fatal. Better health care is essential for sustainable development and is also embodied as the third goal in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)." observed Ms. Elizabeth Lin Forder, Secretary, World Bank Group Sanctions Board, in her paper titled "Bad for Your Health: Case Studies of Fraud and Corruption in the Health Sector in South Asia," She also highlighted that regulators need focus more on the governance of small and medium scale enterprises than multinational corporations as smaller entities face the biggest concerns while complying with norms and regulations. A similar concern was also voiced by Ms. Melanie Reed, Doctoral Candidate, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University in her presentation on 'Incentives for SMEs to Engage in Measures to Prevent Foreign Bribery.'