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Government caps number of bribes at 100 per day per babu

26, Sep 2011 By Pagla Ghoda

New Delhi. Just after the TRAI announced a cap of 100 SMSs per user per day to curb unsolicited telemarketing and spams and Planning Commission put a 32 rupees expenditure cap on people below poverty line, Ministry of Law and Justice has announced similar capping plans to curb black money and corruption in political and bureaucratic circles.

As per a press release issued by the Department of Justice, “The number of bribes per government official per day will be legally capped at 100,” which amounts to a maximum of 3000 bribes per month. While this announcement has been largely welcomed by babus (bureaucrats), some “experienced” babus have expressed concerns at the amount of bribe allowed in a single transaction not being capped.

“What if one is offered a bribe running in crores of rupees? I wish the government had capped the amount accepted in one transaction. Now the bribe givers will insist on paying all the amount in a single transaction, which could alert the anti-corruption agencies,” protested Raghu Dahake, a retired bureaucrat, who has over 500 benaami (nameless, or with fictitious names) bank accounts where he used to receive bribes in less than 50,000 rupees each to avoid furnishing PAN number for each transaction.

Mumbai police accepting bribe
Since the cap has been announced by the central government, members of the police departments in various states claim that it doesn’t apply to them.

However Mr. Dahake expressed pleasure and satisfaction that the government had taken a decision that was an important step towards legalizing “acceptance” of bribe.

“People have been calling to legalize bribe giving, but this one is a step in the right direction,” he said, “I hope young bureaucrats will try to efficiently use their sanctioned quota of 100 bribes a day and not let them lapse, just like they don’t allow their sanctioned leaves to lapse.”

On the other hand, a minuscule section of bureaucrats, estimated to be running around 300000, who can’t understand the need to cap bribes at all, have threatened to go on a three-day fast to protest this cap. The fast is being planned around next Friday to leverage the extended weekend.

Meanwhile this decision, coupled with the decision to put cap on sending SMSs, has inspired demands for similar caps for other critical issues of national importance such as “cap on the number of times per week Rakhi Sawant can appear on national television” and “cap on number of statements Rahul Gandhi can make in each parliament session”.

A Facebook group called “someone please cap number of times my wife can speak daily” is already claiming 200,000 active members, while Rajdeep Sardesai has suggested putting a “cap on number of questions Arnab Goswami can ask in a single day on Times Now”.

“Will he put a cap on number of times he says ‘gnight’ on Twitter each day?” a Times Now source rejected the demands of the CNN-IBN boss.