10 Lakh Bribe for a License Approval; Just a Normal Case in India

Bribed for license approval and then paid fine to settle the bribery probe- the story of a US firm who tried to sell “ready to drink” products in India

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The rise in bribery cases by higher political officials is nothing new to get shocked. They take high amounts of bribes to pass on tenders or to approve licenses. The latest on the radar is a government official who took a 10 lakh rupees bribe to approve a license for a US firm that makes spirits/wines/drinks. Later on, as the investigations against them continued, the spirit maker paid $19.5 million to settle the case and stop the probe into the bribery case.

‘Beam India’ doomed India

The company that bribed Indian officials is known as Beam India. It is a Chicago-based company that acquired Indian business at the starting of the year 2006. Since then, it started paying bribes to Indian officials to keep control in the Indian market. A former member of the beam’s legal department opened these doors for the company back in the initial years. An acting assistant attorney said, “Beam and its Indian subsidiary not only paid bribes to Indian government officials, they intentionally failed to implement internal controls to prevent bribery and falsified their books and records to conceal the corrupt activity,” that clarifies their intention badly.

The allegations by the department of justice

According to the criminal division of the justice department’s report, Beam India violated the FCPA act and engaged in a scheme to pay approximately 1 million rupees bribe to a senior Indian official to seek approval for a license to sell their products in India. Not only that, it has been into such practices for a very long time but this time it came on the radar of the judicial officers. The amount is huge and thus, the execution of the case is also going to turn out bigger.

Also read: Police brutality in India since British Raj

Others must learn from this event

The assistant attorney general Rabbit said, “Companies that use corrupt influence instead of competing in a fair, ethical, and honest manner should take note of today’s agreement: paying bribes to obtain and retain business is not business as usual, it is a crime,” to ensure others take care of this fact. On the other hand, another US attorney, John R said, “US companies that attempt to gain the upper hand in foreign business ventures by engaging in corruption must be held accountable.” As most transactions are made through third-party vendors and did not engage with the officials directly, the department of justice did not name anyone directly in their press release.

The PolicyTimes suggestion

  • The number of scams and unauthenticated business by several Indian political leaders and government officials is on a rise. There must be strict actions against those who break the laws and pass tenders and licenses in exchange for money rather than the ability to work.
  • As there is duplicate work done by the ones who get license approvals through bribing, chances are more that the products and services won’t be too good. So, the officials must give the tender or license to only those who have the potential to deliver quality work.
  • The application procedure system should be transparent. Now that all things are made digital, the license approval processes must also be digitized without any middleman or paperwork in between.

Also read: Unleashing India through Meditation

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10 Lakh Bribe for a License Approval; Just a Normal Case in India
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Bribed for license approval and then paid fine to settle the bribery probe- the story of a US firm who tried to sell “ready to drink” products in India
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THE POLICY TIMES
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