Even though Moody’s upgraded India’s credit ratings a couple of days ago, praising the reforms taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi government, India remains the most corrupt country in Asia, according to the latest list by Forbes. The magazine said that most Asian countries have failed to avoid the smear of corruption and its report revealed that more than one in four people have paid a bribe when using a public service in the Asia Pacific region. Interestingly, India not just topped the list but was also ranked above neighbours Pakistan which was placed on number 4.
According to an 18-month survey by Transparency International in March this year, where it talked to more than 20,000 people in 16 countries, regions and territories in Asia Pacific, India’s bribery rate stands at 69 pct. In five of the six public services – schools, hospitals, ID documents, police, and utility services – more than half the respondents have had to pay a bribe. This is the reason why India has topped the list. The report, however, mentioned that the recent steps taken by the Modi government against corruption did have an impact on the citizens as 53 pct of the people think he is going it fairly or very well. These steps by the BJP led NDA government has also given confidence to the people as 63 pct of respondents now believe that ordinary people can make a difference.
India is followed by Vietnam on the number 2 spot with a bribery rate of 65%. Of all 16 countries surveyed, people in Vietnam (and Malaysia) were the most negative about the situation in their country. As per the report, as many as 60 pct of the Vietnamese people believe that their government is doing a poor job of combatting corruption.
On the third spot is Thailand with a bribery rate of 41 pct. The country has struggled with corruption charges at all levels, despite the current ruling military junta tightening the Anti-Corruption Act in 2015. However, people seem optimistic as nearly 72 pct of them think that government is doing a great job fighting against corruption.
On the fourth spot is Pakistan with a bribery rate of 40 pct as three-fourths of respondents perceive most or all of the police to be corrupt. 7 out of 10 people admitted that they had to pay a bribe to the police or the courts. The fifth and the last spot went to Myanmar with a bribery rate of 40 pct. About half of the respondents believe that most or all police are corrupt but at the same time, less than a fourth believe corruption has increased over the last year.