A few months ago, a survey revealed that Asia’s most corrupt country was – you guessed it – India. We beat Thailand at 3rd and Vietnam at 2nd for this most ‘coveted’ of titles, and why not. The bane of corruption runs deep here, it’s permeated into every institution, every social program, every strand of our country’s nervous system. It’s not just me saying this either, there’s cold, hard facts and statistics supporting each of those claims. Here’s one for you right now – 54% of India’s population has paid a bribe when accessing public services and institutions, that’s more than 1 in 2 citizens. You could brush this off as the Desi way, or you could take a moment to realise how fucked up it is.
Anyhow, here’s a few other numbers about the discredited state of affairs in India.
1. 38% of land and property deals in India involve bribes
In India, 38% of land deals involve some form of bribes, mostly because for the buyer, that’s the only option left. The entire nexus of government officials, politicians, judicial officers, real estate developers and law enforcement officials control the property trade, wherein they acquire and sell land illegally. These groups also remain well protected and are highly connected for the most part, making it nigh impossible to renege on a deal.
2. 62% of law enforcement officers take bribes
The police actually collects the highest amount of bribes. Passport verifications make up 30% of the average bribe paid by a regular Indian in a year, while traffic violations make up 25%. The methods are numerous and the amounts far-reaching, ranging from botched breathalyser tests charging Rs. 2500 to Rs. 500 for passport verification.
3. 60% of road stops for truckers are for extorting money
According to Transparency International, truckers pay ₹222 crore in bribes every year. Authorities such as government regulators, police, forest and sales and excise force stoppages on roads, and 60% of these are for extorting money. These delays lead to an egregious loss in productivity.
4. 60% of people who got their driving license from an agent haven’t taken the driving exam
The procedure to get a driving license in India is highly askew, with research showing that it is possible for people with little to no ability to get a license through the use of agents. A study showed that agents helping unqualified drivers obtain licenses and bypass the legally required driving examination was a widespread practise. Among those surveyed, around 60% of the license holders hadn’t even taken the licensing exam and 54% of those license holders had failed an independent driving test.
5. 31% of members of parliament have criminal cases against them
Political parties are – surprise surprise – the most corrupt institutions in India. They have a corruption rate of 4.4 on a scale of 5 (1 being least corrupt rate and 5 being highest). In 2012, there were criminal cases pending against 31 percent of members of parliament and the legislative assembly. The dismal state of affairs has led to a lot of political candidates actually promoting their criminality as an indication of their ability to defend the interests of their communities, a fact that is as laughable as it is abysmal.
6. The monetary value of petty corruption in 11 basic services in government like education, healthcare and the judiciary amounts to about Rs. 3,19,72,50,00,000 annually.
7. India’s telecom ministry siphoned approximately $30 billion
The 2G spectrum scam, which saw licences being granted to mobile phone companies during an irregular sale, cost the government (well at least those who weren’t part of deal) ₹1.76 trillion.
8. Just about 40% of grain intended for the poor reaches them
A report by World Bank showed that only 40% of grain handed out to the poor reaches its target. This report says that aid programs in India are beset by corruption, bad administration and under-payments.
The rot runs deep.