Have been working with government at the highest level and can say this with certainty...corruption is the driver for 7.9 and 8 % growth in India. I do not condone or justify it, but surely when you read my arguments, you may end up agreeing with my assessment.
When one visits various major departments of the government, you will find officers, clerks and entire staff burning the proverbial midnight oil working diligently. What drives them? When you see newer projects - major ones like bridges, roads, airports, shipyards, SEZs - think what drives the quick approvals and encouragement? No one is interested in small incremental works - the large, big-ticket ones are what interests all. In my interaction with Ministers, politicians, bureaucrats and others in power - all are ready and willing to help for BIG projects. What drives them?
Take away corruption and the entire machinery of the government will become somnolent. The 8% will turn to less than a percent. The engine for growth in India is corruption.
When Chimanbhai Patel was the CM of Gujarat (called Chiman Chor by the Navnirman student movement), he was probably the most corrupt CM in India's history. The growth of Gujarat started during his time as he passed one major project after another and development and work became the watchword. He made a lot of money, and even started the system of a few lakh cash per month to each MLA, irrespective of party. Then when Keshubhai Patel, a true RSS honest man came to power - work stopped, Gujarat was in the throes of inertia, till Shankar Waghela came and the money mill started spinning.
One of the Civil Aviation Minister had been called one of the most efficient Ministers as he gave order for redevelopment of various airports, bought new planes and spent big time. He made crores and crores off the contracts and purchases. Its a different matter that he has brought AI close to bankruptsy, but the country has got some of the World's best Airports.I could go on and on to make a case for the title of this blog.
Maybe if one stopped flight of money from India and periodically gave opportunities to convert black money into white, by cancelling 1000 and 500 Rupee notes or changing design and pattern of Rs 1000 and 500 notes to make them compulsorily come out of the parallel economy...we could grow by 15% too. The influx of money from the black economy would invigorate the nation and start many more development projects and the corruption would oil the govt mechanism and lead to prosperity.
Unless the electoral system, which has an insatiable appetite for more and more black money, is altered, corruption will continue to be the engine for growth in India.