95% Indians Feel Bribes Needed to Get Legitimate Work Done, 87% Willing to Turn Whistle Blowers


Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services section at the Ernst and Young (EY) carried out a survey to gauge India Inc’s sentiment towards two of the major problems besotting the country today- bribery and corruption.

Weighed by individual stance and organizational outlook, they observed a shift towards transparency and veracity. A change was seen to be taking place- a piece of information that comes like a whiff of fresh air to the aam aadmi who is taught to be honest and discerning but finds himself face to face with corrupt public servants and officials for getting the smallest of jobs done.

Right from getting an electricity connection at home to getting his pension approved. From getting a driving license to getting away without being served a challan at the traffic signal.

A paradigm shift towards compliance was seen- and that should help bring a smile to the faces of all those who have been made to shell out hard earned money just because there is no getting away without doing so.

ABAC survey infographic_small


Paying bribes for work or to expedite processes

A resoundingly large number of people (nearly 95%) stated concerns about them being made to grease hands for getting legitimate work done or for expediting certain processes.

The dichotomy of bribery being essential for business in India

The popular public sentiment, though against bribery, has accepted it as a way of life. This being reflected by the fact that 59% of the respondents of this survey accepting that it is impossible to get work done without being a part of the system.

Tone at the top about anti-bribery and anti-corruption policies

Four out of every five people questioned by the EY team (82%) believe that the top management of their company was clear and committed to its approach against such practices.

Gearing up for whistle blowing

87% of the respondents were ready to turn whistle blowers on seeing any unethical activity. Now while that might seem like an exaggerated figure, it is a clear pointer to the fact that a majority of Indians are not happy with the way things function. And also, that they would not mind raising their voices, if only that did not turn the tables against them at a later stage.

Greater enforcement of laws still needed

Though the laws of the land do have measures in place to combat these twin issues, 94% people feel that ‘greater enforceability is required.’

The findings echo the popular sentiment- people are clearly fed up of having to offer bribes. But then, “every country gets the government it deserves,” I strongly believe. While all of us are against this culture, we do not mind being a part of it when it works to our advantage. Till we firmly make up our mind and desist from such practices ourselves, we have no right to condemn those in powerful positions today.

All the same, it is heartening to see that the popular sentiment is turning against corrupt practices.

  1. Manoj says

    There are several pointers to the hypocrisy of indian mentality. 95% feel bribe is a must, 59% feel top leaders are against it, 87% would be a whistleblower, yet look at the number of complaints against corruption in NCRB data – next to nothing.

    This is yet another example of indian hypocrisy. We want everyone else to become law abiding, dutiful and paropkaari. When it comes to us, we want to be thought of as victims, not willing participants in corruption.

    Anyone who has driven on indian roads will vouch for the chaos we cause by our own imprudence and violation of laws, yet we want some magical figure to improve things for us.

    Aint gonna happen till this hypocrisy goes away, is all I can say.

  2. Gangadharan Nair says

    Very useful information. As far as BRIBERY is concerned our ex-Chief Economic Adviser to Govt. of India, Mr. Kaushik Basu, has submitted a paper on it to the then Prime Minister in March 2011, in which he has suggested to bring a law to make “GIVING BRIBE IS LEGAL” The abstract of his paper is given below.

    Abstract:- The paper puts forward a small but novel idea of how we can cut down the incidence of BRIBERY. There are different kinds of bribes and what this paper is concerned with are bribes that people often have to give to get what they are legally entitled to. I shall call these .HARASSMENT BRIBES… Suppose an income tax refund is held back from a taxpayer till he pays some cash to the officer. Suppose government allots subsidized land to a person but when the person goes to get her paperwork done and receive documents for this land, she is asked to pay a hefty bribe. These are all illustrations of harassment bribes. Harassment bribery is widespread in India and it plays a large role in breeding inefficiency and has a corrosive effect on civil society. The central message of this paper is that we should declare the act of giving a bribe in all such cases as legitimate activity. In other words the giver of a harassment bribe should have full immunity from any punitive action by the state.

    It is argued that this will cause a sharp decline in the incidence of bribery. The reasoning is that once the law is altered in this manner, after the act of bribery is committed, the interests of the bribe giver and the bribe taker will be at divergence. The bribe giver will be willing to cooperate in getting the bribe taker caught. Knowing that this will happen, the bribe taker will be deterred from taking a bribe.

    It should be emphasized that what is being argued in this paper is not a retrospective pardon for bribe-giving. Retrospective pardons are like amnesties. They encourage rather than discourage corrupt behavior by rewarding the corrupt. And, in the process, they corrode society‘s morals.

    For more details please visit:http://finmin.nic.in/workingpaper/act_giving_bribe_legal.pdf

    If our PM wants it can be solved within 2 days, but he should sincerely think about it for the sake of common voter of this country.

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