With a population of 1.3 billion people, India is the world’s largest democracy and since 1991, its economic growth ranks within the top 10% of countries worldwide. What’s more, around half of India’s increasingly educated and ambitious population is under 25 years old, meaning a wealth of human capital with the energy and enthusiasm to strive for effective change. If the country is to unlock its potential and realise its prophesised status as a global economic power, it must work on knocking down several barriers still standing in its way, corruption being one of the major ones.
Corruption is one of the most pressing concerns of our time. It leads to poverty and political instability, undermines sustainable economic growth and distorts fair competition. The private sector has a critical role to play in addressing the problem. Stakeholders such as governments, industrial institutions and civil society organisations demand that businesses should work against corruption. In agreement to this, companies have established internal, external and collective measures to counter corruption. There has been a constant widening in the scope of the anti-corruption and related laws and with the latest amendments even the private sector has come under the purview of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Despite these positive developments, however, corruption continues to exist in companies. For example, employees may operate in a competitive environment where not everybody plays by the rules. Employees may feel that corruption also offers a short cut in the day to day running of the company, due to the existence of bureaucratic obstacles. The Alliance for Integrity is a business-driven multi-stakeholder initiative that engages businesses and business associations, civil society organisations, public institutions, international organisations, and academia to prevent corruption.
The Result: More transparency, efficient use of human and financial resources and effective governance. Improved and accountable governance systems would foster trade and attract more investment creating more growth and jobs.
The Alliance for Integrity encourages its supporters to share their experience in a variety of industries on local, regional, and global level, e. g. within working groups. The dialogue between the public and private actors provides an opportunity to discuss challenges and develop solutions to enhance fair market conditions. Whether it is good practice examples, guidelines, or international studies, the project offers knowledge and tools to strengthen the successful implementation of compliance measures and develops practical compliance training programmes to improve the business integrity of especially micro, small and medium sized companies (MSMEs).
Anticipating, challenging and countering excuses for engaging in unethical behaviour is an effective way to reduce the likelihood that employees will engage in corrupt acts.
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