New Delhi: A survey by Transparency International, a global coalition against corruption, revealed India has the highest bribery rate in Asia, and 24 per cent Indians admitted they bribed healthcare workers, clinic or hospital staff to get medical care.
In the survey, which was conducted in India from 17 June to 17 July with 2,000 participants, 39 per cent of the respondents said they had paid a bribe for public services in the country, especially health and education.
With 24 per cent, India was the second-highest country in terms of medical bribes in a list that was topped by China. According to the survey, 26 per cent Chinese said they had paid a bribe for medical care.
Indians also paid the most bribes or did a favour for a government official to acquire a document, with 41 per cent respondents admitting to the same.
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, the report said.
The survey called the ‘Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) — Asia’, published Tuesday, was conducted from mid-June to mid-August and surveyed almost 20,000 people across 17 countries in Asia. These were Japan, South Korea, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Cambodia, Maldives, Myanmar, Philippines, Nepal, Mongolia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Findings of the survey
Even though India has the worst bribery rate in Asia, 63 per cent respondents believed that the government was fighting corruption ‘very or fairly well’.
When asked what was the main reason for resorting to a bribe, 50 per cent Indians said they were asked to and when asked the main reason for using personal connection to get a public service, 32 per cent Indians said they would not have received the service without their connections.
The survey also asked respondents about their trust in the government (which included public servants, politicians, government agencies), courts and the police.
About 23 per cent Indians said they had ‘no trust at all’ in the government while 28 per cent Indians said they had ‘not a lot of trust in the government’. Only 12 per cent said they had a ‘great deal of trust’ in the government and 37 per cent had a ‘fair amount of trust’ in the government.
Regarding courts, 24 per cent Indians said they had a ‘great deal of trust’ and 42 per cent said they had a ‘fair amount of trust’ in the judiciary.
Only 14 per cent respondents revealed that they had a ‘great deal of trust’ in the police while 25 per cent respondents said they had ‘no trust at all’. About 20 per cent did not have have a lot of trust while 40 per cent trusted the police a ‘fair amount’.
81% Indians never approached with bribe for vote
When asked if ordinary people can report corruption without fear, 63 per cent Indians said there were fear of reprisals while 31 per cent said they could report corruption without fear.
Meanwhile, 81 per cent respondents said that they had never been approached by a politician with a bribe for their vote, in the national, regional or local elections.
On the topic of sextortion, when asked if a public official had asked for a sexual favour in exchange for a government benefit, 84 per cent Indians said they had never been asked for a sexual favour.
The survey also revealed that nearly 1 in 5 people who used a public service in the past 12 months in Asia, paid a bribe.