: A major international index of corruption and transparency has placed India on the watch list for its inability to curb mega corruption scandals and petty bribery. The annual index of Transparency International issued on Wednesday for 2016 placed India with Brazil and China in the 40th position. India’s condition showed growth with inequality, it said.
“India’s ongoing poor performance with a score of 40 reiterates the state’s inability to effectively deal with petty corruption and large-scale corruption scandals,” said Transparency International. The impact of corruption on poverty, illiteracy and policy brutality showed that not only was the economy growing but so was inequality.
India’s current ranking, putting it in the high corruption zone, has drawn critical observations from transparency campaigners. Nikhil Dey of People’s Campaign for Right to Information said the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not done enough on the issue of Lokpal and whistleblower protection.
“A lot of scams in the previous government were unearthed with the help of the right to information that the government itself allowed. But the present government has done nothing to boost the anti-corruption structure. The demonetisation process is the latest indicator of the lack of transparency in the system, where even the Reserve Bank of India is not able to spell out the exact details of the operation,” Mr. Dey said. “Growth with inequality is disastrous on its own. But in the case of India, such a growth also legitimises corruption,” he warned.
South Asia had performed poorly. Bangladesh at 27th and Nepal at 29th positions were slotted in the highly corrupt section. Pakistan, at 32, also came in the red zone. Afghanistan ranked 15th was in the “highly corrupt” list with South Sudan, North Korea and Libya.
The organisation recognised China’s recent anti-corruption campaign under President Xi Jinping which had been targeting ‘tigers and flies’ and slotted it alongside India. China’s latest score was an improvement of three points. India, though it improved two ranks, remained in the same red-zone of corruption.