New Delhi: Corruption is making live miserable for small and medium units that are often left to fight their own battles in getting clearances and conducting day-to-day operations, according to a survey.
"Almost all Small and medium enterprises have been victims to corrupt babus at least once," revealed the survey conducted by tradeindia.com, a leading Indian busines-to-business (B2B) portal.
"Small and medium enterprises may feel powerless in the face of demands for bribes and are often unaware bribery can be resisted or how to go about it in a situation where the propagation of business lies on the hands of corrupt officials," it added.
More than 90 percent of the respondents believe the government must take a more holistic approach toward corruption and initiatives taken in other policy areas to complement the efforts to improve law enforcement.
"Corruption in this country is at its rampant best and, perhaps, not a single section of industry has been spared from it. Bribery, the most common form of corruption most small enterprises face, is more difficult to monitor and control," a respondent said.
Asked whom they would like to turn to for advice when faced with bribery and corruption issue, almost half the respondents felt they would contact their lawyers and 19 percent of them said they would call their accountants.
But A fifth of respondents either would not turn to anyone for advice, or were not aware as to whom they would turn to for advice. Interestingly enough, two-thirds of them said there is not enough guidance to help them identify or deal with bribery and corruption.
"With the cost of corruption to the country well exceeding Rs 250,000 crores, the survey found small and medium enterprises fearing: If such brazen acts of corruption continue, India`s corruption could be a USD 1 trillion industry soon," tradeindia.com said.
"The state has misused power in various ways with favoured voting groups, and favouring business lobbies for campaign contribution, ignoring the sentiments of small and medium enterprises who are left to fight their own battles," it said.
Corruption in India can`t be addressed without addressing the overall social environment and attitudes held in the society, and attitudinal change is an essential ingredient in achieving sustained reduction in corrupt practices relating governance, it added.
In the light of the limited information on the scale of the problem of corruption, the survey was to conducted to assess the experience of bribery and corruption issues that afflict India`s cmall and medium enterprises to improve understanding of the issue.