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Rediff News  All News  » Business » US expert on anti-corruption drive

US expert on anti-corruption drive

October 03, 2007 18:15 IST

The US is to partner with India to develop anti-corruption and kleptocracy strategies to combat the growing menace.

The US loses around $1 to 1.6 trillion annually due to corruption at the public services and private enterprises, estimated David M Luna, director, Anti-corruption & Governance Initiatives, and special advisor in the US State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics and law enforcement Affairs.

Luna, who was involved in drafting the kleptocracy strategy in the US, added though that the numbers were very broad estimates.

The partnership with India will mainly be at a strategic level, and will proceed through dialogues between the  two countries, he indicated at an interactive session on 'Anti-corruption and Kleptocracy Strategy', organised by the American Center in Kolkata.

High-level, and large scale corruption by public officials, also referred to as kleptocracy, was a threat in developing nations.

US was looking at strengthening political will globally through diplomatic efforts to prevent and combat kleptocracy.

The United Nations Convention Against Corruption provided a framework for international cooperation against corruption, including prevention and law enforcement measures.

The US encouraged governments to also work through regional instruments and multilateral fora including the Group of Eight (G-8) countries, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, Council of Europe, and other G-8 partnerships in the Middle East and Africa, said Luna.

The US National Security strategy watched over the international arena to combat corruption by high level public officials.

The Presidential Proclamation 7750, and other initiatives formed part of the US strategy aimed at combating terrorist financing, and money laundering by creating systematic barriers to prevent tainted capital from entering the legitimate financial system, explained Luna.

Shyamal Dutta, former director of the Intelligence Bureau of the government of India, mentioned that the attitude of resignation with which corruption was accepted in many sections of Indian society today had to be weeded out before any preventive measure could be rolled out.

Sohini Das in Kolkata