By Narayan Ammachchi
A large majority of Indians are concerned about the growing rate of corruption in the country, according to a survey conducted by Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International.
Corruption is growing everywhere in the world, but in India the rate of growth is just alarming, noted the country’s main English paper, Times of India.
Globally, an average of 27% people said they paid bribe on their way to access public services over the last 12 months. In India, however, that figure was 54%.
India’s slot on global corruption Index, according to newspaper, is 4.4 (1 being least corrupt and 5 being highest). The Global Corruption Barometer report surveyed some 114,000 people in 107 countries. In India, 1,025 people answered questions over the phone.
According to the report, police collected the highest bribe (62%), registry and permit (61%), educational institutions (48%), land services (38%).
“India’s judiciary has also been found guilty – 36% involved in bribes,” says the paper. And, nearly 50 percent of respondents reported paying a bribe related to educational services.
It seems Indians are increasingly accustomed to corruption, with 45 percent of respondents expressing their helplessness to root out the bad practice. Worse still, nearly 35 percent of them said they would not notify the demand for bribe to anti-corruption ombudsmen.
Globally, nearly 9 out of 10 people surveyed said they would act against corruption and two-thirds of those who were asked to pay a bribe had refused.
The corruption watchdog has suggested that civil society and the business sector should do more to engage people in thwarting corruption.
“Bribe paying levels remain very high worldwide, but people believe they have the power to stop corruption and the number of those willing to combat the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery is significant,” said Huguette Labelle, the Chair of Transparency International.
Around the world, citizen’s appraisal of their leaders’ efforts to stop corruption is worse than before the financial crisis began in 2008, when 31 percent said their government’s efforts to fight corruption were effective. This year it fell to 22 percent.