London: A global survey to gauge the extent of worldwide corruption has pegged India high up on the world scales and sent out a harsh message to the country`s political parties over their inability to curb the problem.
Transparency International`s annual `Global Corruption Barometer 2013`, which surveyed 114,270 people in 107 countries, found a whopping 70 per cent of those surveyed in India believed that corruption had increased in the last two years, compared to the global average of 53 per cent.
"India stands out not only in the region but also globally for a complete lack of public faith in the government to tackle the problem of corruption," Rukshana Nanayakkara, outreach manager for the Asia Pacific region at Transparency International, told PTI from his headquarters in Berlin.
"Most strikingly, 68 per cent of Indians surveyed said they did not believe the government was doing enough to fight the problem." she said.
"That implies a major trust issue for a country that wishes to become a global powerhouse but is unable to take care of its people," Nanayakkara said.
India also came out tops on the scale of bribery, with as many as one in two (54 per cent) respondents admitting to paying a bribe in the past 12 months to access key public institutions and services, compared to one in four respondents (27 per cent) globally.
Political parties universally emerged as the most corrupt institution, followed by the police and judiciary.
"Again, I think it is telling that in India as many as 86 per cent people believe political parties are corrupt. That again connects with the ineffectiveness of the state to address the problem.
"Against the backdrop of all the corruption scandals, it leads to natural cynicism in the country, with only 55 per cent willing to believe that an ordinary man can make a difference as compared to 67 per cent around the globe," added Nanayakkara.
In terms of the country`s bribery share, the police cornered as much as 62 per cent of the bribes, followed by those involved in registry and permits at 61 per cent, educational institutions 48 per cent, land services 38 per cent and India`s judiciary 36 per cent.
In its report on the survey`s findings, the NGO argues
corruption not only increases the cost of essential services borne by individuals and the public purse, but that perceptions of widespread graft erode essential trust and faith in the democratic and legal process.
"Corruption can, and often does, infringe on fundamental rights. For those surviving on less than USD 2 a day...The additional cost of bribery can mean trade-offs are made between health and hunger, between school entrance fees and the shoes necessary to wear to school.
"Bribery not only costs the individual paying the bribe it also undermines the efficient and equitable allocation of resources, people`s respect for the rule of law and the overall integrity of a society," the report says.
Globally, 28 per cent of men reported paying a bribe, compared with 25 per cent of women.
In some countries, such as Nepal and Pakistan, many more men reported paying bribes than women.
In Columbia, meanwhile, 27 per cent of women reported paying bribes compared with only 16 per cent of men.
In the UK, the media and political parties were rated most corrupt and 5 per cent of people surveyed reported paying a bribe.
Now in its eighth edition, this year`s anti-corruption survey is the largest of its kind and includes some countries, such as Libya and Tunisia, for the first time.