Tue, 14 Jul, 2020

Money and morals

In the run up to International Anti Corruption Day, there is a bit of Good news both for India, which has managed to reduce corruption, and for Goa, which has emerged as one of India’s least corrupt states

04th December 2019, 02:12 Hrs


December 9 is observed around the world as International Anti Corruption Day. On that note, India currently ranks 78th among 175 least corrupt countries, and the nation still has a long way to go. According to a 2019 survey by Transperency International however, corruption in India has decreared by around 10 percent in the last year. Even so, the country’s citizens don’t believe that it has actually gone down. Statistics about corruption may keep changing, but the key question is why do people engage in corruption, and how is the trend changing currently? Here’s a brief look at the scenario. 

Corruption in India

A 2019 survey by Transparency International suggests that bribery in India has reduced by about 10 percent in the past 1 year.

Survey conducted in 20 states across India. Around  56% of citizens of the country had paid bribes, according to the 2018 survey. But this year’s survey reveals a definite and noticeable reduction in the number of times bribes are paid by the citizens either directly or indirectly. The reduced percentage of citizens is 51%.

Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Kerala, Goa and Odisha turned out to be the states where citizens reported low instances of corruption

Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Punjab were the states where citizens reported higher instances of corruption

As per the Black Money preliminary report tabled in the Lok Sabha in June 2019, Indians’ unaccounted money in Abroad is in the range of 26 Lakh crore rupees to 24 Lakh Crores Rupees.

The picture in Goa

In the said survey, Goa has emerged as one of the least corrupt states in India with only 20 percent of those surveyed stating that they had to pay a bribe to get their work done. Around 40 percent stated that they got the job done without paying a bribe, while another 40 percent stated that they never felt the need to give a bribe. 

While in states such as Chhattisgarh, police topped the establishment to which citizens paid the most bribe, in Goa, people had to pay bribes to offices providing basic utilities, transport and tax related work, the survey stated. 

The report however observed that a considerably low percentage of Goan citizens (around 20 percent) were faced with circumstances where they had to give bribes, while in Rajasthan, it stood at 78 percent.

How do people become corrupt even when we teachers teach them good values in schoos, is a question that is asked often. I believe that there are two aspects to this. Either it is an individual’s nature or inclination, or it might depend on what field they choose to enter into. I have heard that it is almost impossible to remain in politics without corruption because there’s a chain of vested interests. I have myself seen some individuals with good nature and good character turn into corrupt people. Even so, it is difficult to say whether politics itself can turn you into a corrupt person. 

— Shubhada Marathe, 

former teacher 

I think some people engage in corruption because they lack a spine and principles and succumb to peer pressure. When they see their colleagues doing it, they too take up corrupt practices. Having strong morals has a lot to do with your own consciousness. 

— Badri Narayan, lawyer

I have encountered some tricky situations in Maharashtra with regard to bribery, but I have not had any such experience in Goa. I would like to note that ever since taxations and permits system has been made digital, my interaction with the authorities has reduced. Digitisation of services has indeed helped reduce corruption. 

— Ajay Patil, businessman

I am a businessman and I never encountered any situation where government officials demanded a bribe. On the other hand, the officials at GST desk were very helpful and resolved all my queires. 

— Ryan Vaz, businessman

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