Friday, December 23, 2011

Daily Lives and Corruption, Public Opinion in S. Asia

More than one in three people who deal with public services in South Asia pay bribes, according to a new survey published on 22nd December 2011.
In the report, titled “Daily Lives and Corruption, Public Opinion in South Asia,” anticorruption group Transparency International surveyed 7,500 people between 2010 and 2011 in Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka on the frequency of bribes in those countries.
The survey asks respondents whether they think corruption has increased and which institutions are considered most corrupt. It also asks if people have paid a bribe in the past 12 months, to whom and for what.
“With bribery such a big a part of life for South Asians, you can see why so many people are angry at their governments for not tackling corruption. People are sick of paying bribes just to get on with their daily lives, and they are sick of the sleaze and undue influence of public servants,” Rukshana Nanayakkara, TI’s senior program coordinator for South Asia, said in a news release.
Political parties and the police are the most corrupt institutions in each of the six countries, followed closely by legislatures and public officials, according to the survey. Officials overseeing land deals were the next likely to demand a bribe, the survey found.
Bangladesh has the most rampant corruption, with 66% of people saying they pay bribes to public institutions. Meanwhile, two-thirds of Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis who dealt with the police ended up paying a bribe.
The study also found that most people think corruption is on the rise in the region, with 62% of those interviewed saying they believe corruption has become worse in the past three years. But 83% of people said they were ready get involved in fighting corruption.
39% of people report paying a bribe in the past 12 months. The result was startlingly high in Bangladesh at 66 per cent, followed by India and Pakistan, with 54 per cent and 49 per cent respectively reporting having paid a bribe to one of nine service providers in the past 12 months. 
62% of people feel that corruption in their country has increased in the past three years. This was felt most strongly in India and Pakistan, where three out of four people felt that corruption had increased over the past three years. Government leaders were named as the most trusted to fight corruption by 38% of people.
Government leaders were named as the most trusted to fight corruption in Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The media was the most trusted institution in India and Nepal. In Pakistan the highest proportion of people reported that they trust ‘nobody’ to fight corruption.
81% of people agree that ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption. People are especially positive in the Maldives and Pakistan, where 90 per cent and 89 per cent respectively agree that ordinary people can make a difference.