HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) of Transparency International (TI) made public today showed that political parties and police are the most corrupt institutions in South Asian countries.
The GCB suggested that bribery is common in public institutions in countries, including Nepal — which stands as the second most corrupt country after Afghanistan in the region as per the 2011 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) made public by TI early this month.
The direct and telephonic interview with 7,500 respondents in Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka carried out between 2010 and 2011 shows that paying bribe was a must while dealing with police, land revenue offices and customs services.
“Political parties and police are the most corrupt institutions in all six countries, followed closely by parliament and public officials,” according to the survey.
“Officials entrusted to oversee deals related to buying, selling, inheriting and renting land were the next likely to demand a bribe,” said Rukshana Nanyayakkara, senior programme coordinator for South Asia at the TI, at a press conference.
“People are sick of paying bribes just to get on with their daily lives, and they are sick of sleaze and undue influence of public servants,” he added.
Bribes are mostly paid in Nepal, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka to speed services up. In Sri Lanka, significantly more people paid bribes to tax authorities than other services while in Nepal and Maldives, customs services reportedly received the most bribes.
According to the report, 63 per cent respondents believe corruption has become worse in the past three years, and people from India and Pakistan are most pessimistic about worsening corruption. It also said 83 per cent declared themselves ready to get involved in fighting corruption and demanded strong law.
Most plagued by bribery is Bangladesh where 66 per cent people pay bribes to public institutions, just to gain access to services that people are already entitled to get. “Another common reason for paying bribes is to avoid problems with authorities. Two-thirds of Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis who dealt with police ended up paying a bribe.
Stating that corruption is rife in government services, Bishnu Bahadur KC, chairman of TI Nepal chapter stressed political will for combating corruption.