Critical of the judiciary for taking too long to punish the guilty, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said the country needs speedier enforcement of laws to combat corruption.
"Judges lecture the government every day. But let me say with humility, the failure to punish the corrupt is entirely the responsibility of our judicial system. It is our judicial system that failed to punish the corrupt.
"Corruption cases drive on for 20-30 years. You take disciplinary action against government servants...it takes 10 years (to) find him guilty and you punish him. And finally the court will set it aside (the order) on some technical (grounds)," he said at an NSUI meet here.
Chidambaram also said it was wrong to assume that there is corruption only in India.
"There is corruption worldwide and there is corruption in India. Corruption is driven by greed. It is not sufficient to make laws -- the laws must be enforced. We must punish the corrupt.
"You cannot entirely stop corruption...The best way to control corruption is to punish one who is caught red-handed.
Anyone found guilty must be punished severely," he said.
The Finance Minister also advocated greater use of technology to bring down corruption.
Talking about price rise, Chidambaram said the focus of the government was to bring down the fiscal deficit and borrowings to curb inflation.
He said efforts have yielded results and wholesale inflation has eased to 5% from 10 % and retail inflation to 7.24 % from over 12 %.
The Finance Minister said items such as fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, eggs, milk and spices are driving inflation, not wheat and rice.
By containing demand, by controlling the fiscal deficit, by spending less, we have brought down inflation, he said.
Chidambaram said if the current polices are followed for next one-two years, WPI inflation will come down to about 3 % and CPI inflation to below 5%.