Corruption in India has reached an all-time high with rates being exactly double of the global prevalence.
Globally, 27% people say they paid bribe when accessing public services and institutions in the last 12 months.
In India however, the number of people who did the same was 54% – over 1 in two citizens.
Political parties have been found to be the most corrupt institution in India with a corruption rate as high as 4.4 on a scale of 5 (1 being least corrupt rate and 5 being highest).
The highest amount of bribe however was collected by the police – 62% followed by to those involved in registry and permit (61%), educational institutions (48%), land services (38%). India’s judiciary has also been found guilty – 36% involved in bribes.
Cynicism about a corruption free future is wide spread among the Indian public with 45% people saying they don’t think common man can make a difference.
On the other hand, around 34% people (1 in 3) said they wouldn’t report corruption while facing it.
These are the findings of the Global Corruption Barometer 2013 – a survey of 1.14 lakh people in 107 countries released on Tuesday.
The index found that corruption is widespread globally, with 27% of respondents (1 in 4 people) having paid a bribe when accessing public services and institutions in the last 12 months, revealing no improvement from previous surveys.
More than one person in two thinks corruption has worsened in the last two years
Public institutions entrusted to protect people suffer the worst levels of bribery. Among the eight services evaluated, the police and the judiciary are seen as the two most bribery prone globally.
An estimated 31% of people who came into contact with the police report having paid a bribe. For those interacting with the judiciary, the share is 24%.
The democratic pillars of societies are viewed as the most corrupt. Around the world, political parties, the driving force of democracies, are perceived to be the most corrupt institution.
People surveyed regard corruption in their country as more than just paying bribes: almost two out of three people believe that personal contacts and relationships help to get things done in the public sector in their country.
Powerful groups rather than the public good are judged to be driving government actions.
More than one in two people (54%) think their government is largely or entirely run by groups acting in their own interests rather than for the benefit of the citizens.
Nearly 9 in 10 surveyed say they would act against corruption.
The majority of people said that they would be willing to speak up and report an incident of corruption. Two-thirds of those asked to pay a bribe say they refused.
“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.
The Global Corruption Barometer 2013 also found that in too many countries the institutions people rely on to fight corruption and other crime are themselves not trusted.
Around 36 countries view police as the most corrupt, and in those countries an average of 53% of people had been asked to pay a bribe to the police.
Around 20 countries view the judiciary as the most corrupt, and in those countries an average of 30% of the people who had come in contact with the judicial systems had been asked to pay a bribe.
“Governments need to take this cry against corruption from their citizenry seriously and respond with concrete action to elevate transparency and accountability,” Labelle said. “Strong leadership is needed from the G20 governments in particular. In the 17 countries surveyed in the G20, 59% of respondents said their government is not doing a good job at fighting corruption.”
The Barometer shows a crisis of trust in politics and real concern about the capacity of those institutions responsible for bringing criminals to justice.
In 51 countries around the world political parties are seen as the most corrupt institution. 55% of respondents think government is run by special interests.
Around the world, people’s appraisal of their leaders’ efforts to stop corruption is worse than before the financial crisis began in 2008, when 31% said their government’s efforts to fight corruption were effective. This year it fell to 22 per cent.
“Governments need to make sure that there are strong, independent and well-resourced institutions to prevent and redress corruption. Too many people are harmed when these core institutions and basic services are undermined by the scourge of corruption.
AUTHOR : Naseema Rawther
PUBLISHED BY : Jasneet Sethi