National Affairs

Corruption: India Tops Asia In Bribery, Use Of Personal Connections To Access Public Services, Survey Report

47% percent people surveyed in India, believe that corruption has increased over the past 12 months while 63% believe that the government is doing a good job is tackling corruption. Perhaps, the ‘feel good’ factor ends here. India has emerged as having the highest bribery rate of 39% in the Asian region and the highest rate of people (46%) who used personal connections to access public services, according to a recent survey-report released by Transparency International, a global civil society. Nearly 50% of those who paid bribes were asked to, while 32% of those who used personal connections said they would not receive the service otherwise. In an earlier report, issued by Transparency International, which was released in January at Davos at the World Economic Forum, India had been ranked at 80th position among 180 countries in the Corruption Perception Index. For the survey-report titled ‘Global Corruption Barometer-Asia’ Transparency International surveyed 20,000 people across 17 Asian countries – largely between June-September this year, seeking their perception of and experiences with corruption in the past twelve months. Six key public services are covered in the report, viz: police, courts, public hospitals, procurement of identity documents and utilities. Of the people surveyed in India, who came into contact with the police, 42% had paid bribes. Use of bribes was also rampant (41%) to obtain official documents such as identity papers. Use of personal connections was also largely made in dealings with the police (39%), procurement of identity documents (42%) and in relation to courts (38%). Bribery in public services continues to plague India. Slow and complicated bureaucratic process, unnecessary red tape and unclear regulatory frameworks force citizens to seek out alternate solutions to access basic services through networks of familiarity and petty corruption, cites the report. An issue of concern, reflected in the report is that while reporting of corruption is critical to curbing the spread, as many as 63% of those in India, were particularly concerned about retaliation. “Both national and state governments need to streamline administrative processes for public services, implement preventative measures to combat bribery and nepotism, and invest in user friendly online platforms to deliver essential public services quickly and effectively,” adds the survey-report.

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