Transparency International Says India Most Corrupt in Asia

A Transparency International (TI) study of 16 Asian countries, including India and Pakistan, has found that India has the highest bribery rate.  69% of survey respondents in India said they have paid a bribe, given a gift or done a favor to receive government services like education and health care. Vietnam follows with 65%, Thailand 41% and Pakistan 40%. China reported a much lower 26%.

Corruption in Asia. Source: Transparency International 2017


The Transparency International study released in March 2017 is part of a regional series for the Global Corruption Barometer.  22,000 people participated in the survey to answer questions about their recent experiences with corruption in 16 countries and territories in the Asia Pacific region.

The study found that Japan has the lowest incidence of bribery at 0.2 per cent. South Korea and Australia recorded 3% each, Hong Kong 2% and Taiwan 6%. While 46% to 60% of Indians say they paid bribes for various public services, including in public schools and hospitals and for getting IDs, voter cards and permits and accessing utilities and the police, 31% to 45% said they paid bribes for court services as well.

Unlike the rest of Asia, the poorest people are the biggest victims of corruption in India (73%), Pakistan (64%) and Thailand (46%).

Poor vs Rich Victims of Corruption in Asia. Source: TI

Pakistan fares worse than India in terms of bribes paid to police and courts but better in access to schools and health facilities.

The TI report said that "police top the list of public services most often demanding a bribe. Just under a third of people who had come into contact with a police officer in the last 12 months said they paid a bribe. Overall, 38 per cent of the poorest people surveyed said they paid a bribe, which is the highest proportion of any income group".

Although this report suggests Pakistan is doing better than its neighbor India, the corruption levels in Pakistan remain very high relative to more developed Asian economies. The worst part of it is that the poorest people who can least afford to pay bribes are the biggest victims of such corrupt practices. Fighting corruption requires a broad-based effort. The mass media need to play a role in exposing it; the lawyers and the judges need to do their part to address it. And the civil society at large needs to speak up whenever and wherever they see it.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Culture of Corruption in Pakistan

Panama Leaks, Musharraf and Sharifs

Pakistani Leaders in London After Panama Leaks

Culture of Corruption in Pakistan

Zardari Corruption Probe

President Pervez Musharraf's Legacy

We Hang Petty Thieves and Appoint Great Ones to High Offices



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