Couple weeks ago we discussed the importance of Aadhar and Jan Dhan (Bank Accounts) to avoid leakage of disbursement of funds. Several high profile corruption scandals involving misappropriation of public funds (UP Rural Health Mission scam and Public Distribution System scam in Assam) highlight this need further. At Vartaa we thought we should examine some of the largest high-profile scams: the amounts involved, some background, and whether arrests were made. Each scam deserves a chart and story of its own but an aggregate view highlights the extent of the problem India faces.
No prizes for guessing which one has the notorious distinction of being the largest ever scam- The 2G scam resulted in 176,000 Crore Rupees (over 300,000 if adjusted for inflation) in losses for the country. Next are the Coalgate and Antrix-Devas scams with losses estimate at close to 280,000 Crore Rupees (inflation adjusted) suffered by the country. Although the Fodder scam pales in comparison with these mind-boggling numbers given that its scope was a mere 950 Crore in 1992 (almost 4,500 Crore adjusted for inflation), we included it here. Firstly, it is the grand daddy of the big corruption scandals. Even Bofors which came less than a decade before it had a small scope of 64 Crore Rupees. Secondly, it goes on to show that the corruption scandals of today have become much worse in terms of both scope and public money involved.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and we encourage our readers to provide suggestions and contrary view in the comments section. Informed readers may notice that the Adarsh, scam, Assam PDS scam, and Tarta/ Scorpene bribery cases do not feature here. A quick note about the sources- we assembled the estimates from publicly available data, news articles and Comptroller General of India (CAG) estimates. We used an average 8.5% rate of inflation throughout although this may be true only for the last 10 years.