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Our leaders are most corrupt...

india Updated: Jun 04, 2009 00:47 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Indian political parties and their elected representatives are most corrupt in the country. But the government, which comprises elected representatives, has been able to tackle corruption effectively.

This was the popular perception that emerged in a global survey – Global Corruption Barometer – conducted by international corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) across 69 countries.

The survey, conducted during the October-November 2008 period, was released on Wednesday.

Close to 58 per cent people in India’s five metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore –considered political parties to be most corrupt. But there was a sizeable improvement in the perception of the government’s role in tackling corruption since 2007.

“People believed that the Right to Information Act has helped in combating corruption. Social audit, citizen’s charters and technology are wonderful tools to check corruption,” Admiral (retired) R.H. Tahilani, who heads the Indian chapter of Transparency International, said.

But Tahilani said, “There was rampant use of black money in the recent general elections.” Poll officials around the country seized about Rs 60 crore of black money during the elections in April-May 2009.

Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi, after the final round of polling on May 13, termed the influence of money in Indian elections as the “biggest challenge” for the country’s democracy.

As many as 10 per cent respondents said members of Parliament and legislators indulge in corrupt practices, while Indian respondents – 13 per cent of the total 73,000 – found bureaucrats also to be corrupt. But only three per cent reported corruption in judiciary.

Just nine per cent respondents said they paid bribe to government officials as compared to 12 per cent in 2007. The survey, however, found that the poor pay more bribe than the rich.

The India Corruption Study 2008 revealed that Indians below poverty line paid bribes worth Rs 900 crore every year to avail of basic and need-based services.