Friday, July 13, 2012

From Ancient To Present Day Corruption

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By Elinor Tran

Corruption is a major setback to development worldwide. The situation of corruption in Russia is one such case. Up to the early 18th century, government officials were allowed by law to engage in bribery activities. This trend took a break in 1715 with the coming to power of Peter the great. He introduced fixed salaries for all those working for the government.

There were so many officials under Peter the great that it became a real snag to afford the salaries for these officials. This went to such extremes that there were irregular payments to government officials forcing them to go back to their old habits. Soon after his death, corruption levels rose again. Officials started depending on resources provided by people who had certain interests in administration in order to survive.

Introduction of paper money as a mode of payment halted these practices. This was done by Catherine the second when she ascended to power. It however did not last a lifetime as paper money greatly lost value to the metallic money towards the end of the 18th century. There was also another hindrance as the bureaucracy lacked proper security.

In 1922, Russia declared this vice a counter voluntary activity. It became a crime punishable by death. There was however lack of proper enforcement to this law. With time, Russians went back to corruption and continues to practice it to date with the authorities casting a blind eye. It is widely practiced in all parts of this country.

Even in the early 20th century, there still exists a law that requires the Russian public to finance public services and functions. The opposition urges that this openly encourages fraud. The ruling fraternity however views it as a way of ensuring effective delivery of services.

This corruption in Russia has seen the country loose the global economic superiority it once enjoyed. The country is opting to treat the past as a learning experience and put into place stringent measures to curb this vice once and for all. This will probably go a long way in restoring the country to being a world economic leader.

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