India had the highest bribery rate among the 16 Asia Pacific countries surveyed by Transparency International. Nearly seven in 10 Indians who had accessed public services had paid a bribe. Contrast this with the least corrupt country – Japan, where only 0.2% of the respondents reported paying a bribe.
The Global Corruption Barometer for the Asia Pacific Region was released by Transparency International (TI) – an anti-corruption global civil society organisation, at the stroke of one minute past midnight on March 7, in Berlin.
In some countries like India, Pakistan and Thailand, it was the poorer section who had to bear the brunt of corruption and pay a bribe.
Nearly 73% of those who paid a bribe in India were from the poorer section of society, in Pakistan and Thailand this percentage was 64% and 46% respectively. India was followed closely by Vietnam where around two thirds (65%) had paid a bribe when accessing public services.
As many states in India, already have in place the ‘Right to Public Services Act’ cutting across a number of services, which require that services be delivered within a stipulated time period, the survey results point out the need for further improvement. In India, respondents reported the highest bribery incident in procuring government healthcare services and even identification related documents. Nearly 59% of the respondents had paid a bribe for such services. Bribes paid for education were next on the list with 58% having reported doing so.—INP