By now we have tried just about everything to stop corruption. First we passed laws against it. That didn\'t work. We tried sending officials on governance junkets to Singapore; they just came back with electronic consumer items and bribed their way through customs. We doubled their salaries and started five-day weeks so they could moonshine on weekends, but the hanky-panky got worse.
There is some hope that the Human Genome Project, which has sequenced our chromosomes, will now be able to pinpoint the exact genes for greed. People who are genetically susceptible to purloining public funds can be detected well in advance if their DNA have versions of the gene responsible for secreting the hormone, corruption-enhancing-receptor protein (CERP). And if they do, they can be debarred from holding public office.
By splicing the gene for the Madagascar tree hornet (known for its selfless devotion to the welfare of the hive) into the human sequence responsible for CERP, you can actually craft a transgenic, honest human being.
But what do we do while waiting for scientists to develop genetically-modified Nepalis to sit for the Public Service Commission examination? This is the burning question facing the nation today.
There are three industries that show major growth as a country gets poorer: the tobacco industry, the distilleries and the pharmaceutical walla\'s. Some would even argue that people get poorer because those industries prosper. In any case, since government pays for development by taxing vice, there must be a way to levy a surcharge on graft and bribes.
But first we must legalise corruption. And when we do, every time someone from the Ministry of Poultry and Livestock pilfers from the coffers, or a tycoon passes out a hefty baksheesh they will be slapped 10 percent VAT on the spot. Corruption can then actually contribute to Nepal\'s GNP. International investors keen to start joint ventures in Nepal can be given a one-year tax holiday on all bribes they have to pay to lubricate their way through the labyrinths of officialdom. Foreign diplomatic missions and international agencies, will of course have duty-free status, since their presence in our country is governed by the Geneva Protocol.
Legitimising corruption will have other multifarious advantages: there will be no need anymore for frequent seminars and workshops on "Accountability, Integrity and Governance in the Context of the Civil Service." Donors will no longer have to devote a large chunk of their budgets for projects like "The Enabling State", and precious resources will be freed for drinking water schemes.
Because corruption will have been legalised, all transactions will be transparent and above board. By being able to fund development through the Graft Surcharge we can have another round of salary hikes for the civil service. Integrity will then be contagious and unleash the forces of development so that Nepal can ahieve the Asiyali Mapdanda by December 2000.