Chicago: India loses a whopping USD 16 billion a year due to corruption, IPS officer-turned social activist Kiran Bedi has said.

Speaking at an event here organised by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, she said, "out of every Rs 100 meant for infrastructure development, only Rs 16 is used and Rs 84 is lost."

She said if India is free of corruption, it could become the most developed country in the world and all its debt would go away.

"I would like to see Indians in America collectively raising a voice because it is our future," said Bedi, who is associated with social activist Anna Hazare's anti-corruption campaign.

Speaking about the Lokpal Bill, Bedi said the corruption has increased because there was no system to check it and there was no system in place to handle the negative aspects of positive growth.

"It is only in the last two months thanks to the Supreme Court that key players and politicians went to jail for the first time and have not been bailed out till now," Bedi said.

She also spoke at the ‘India Against Corruption’ event held at the Gayatri Shaktipeeth.

"Scams have increased over the years and the number of recorded scams has also increased," she said, adding that records show that there are no commensurate punishments for such scams.

Bedi said she needed the support of Non-Resident Indians to give the movement an additional momentum.

"We can also try to weed out corruption if we allocate even 0.5 per cent of budget for anti-corruption," Bedi added.

(Agencies)