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Rediff.com  » Business » India tops world bribery list!

India tops world bribery list!

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October 06, 2006 10:34 IST

India won the notorious distinction of topping the Bribe Payers' Index 2006 compiled by Transparency International, a global anti-corruption group.

Acording to the findings of the group, India and China are most likely to pay bribes in order to win business contracts abroad.

TI Bripe Payers Index 2006: the rankings

Rank

Country

Average score
(0-10)

Percentage of
global exports
(2005)

1

Switzerland

7.81

1.2

2

Sweden

7.62

1.3

3

Australia

7.59

1.0

4

Austria

7.50

0.5

5

Canada

7.46

3.5

6

UK

7.39

3.6

7

Gemany

7.34

9.5

8

Netherlands

7.28

3.4

9

Belgium

7.22

3.3

 

US

7.22

8.9

11

Japan

7.10

5.8

12

Singapore

6.78

2.2

13

Spain

6.63

1.9

14

UAE

6.62

1.1

15

France

6.50

4.3

16

Portugal

6.47

0.3

17

Mexico

6.45

2.1

18

Hong Kong

6.01

2.8

 

Israel

6.01

0.4

20

Italy

5.94

3.6

21

South Korea

5.83

2.8

22

Saudi Arabia

5.75

1.8

23

Brazil

5.65

1.2

24

South Africa

5.61

0.5

25

Malaysia

5.59

1.4

26

Taiwan

5.41

1.9

27

Turkey

5.23

0.7

28

Russia

5.16

2.4

29

China

4.94

5.5

30

India

4.62

0.9

Companies from Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Austria and Canada bribe the least to win foreign business the report said.

The UK was ranked sixth, Germany seventh, while the US tied with Belgium at ninth place, Japan was ranked 11th.

Officials from the anti-corruption group urged the governments of the three fast emerging economies - India, China (2nd) and Russia (3rd) to take a more active role in cleaning up the business practices of their companies.

A score of 10 indicated a perception of no corruption, while zero meant corruption was viewed as rampant by companies from a particular country.

"Bribing companies are actively undermining the best efforts of governments in developing nations to improve governance, and thereby driving the vicious cycle of poverty," said Transparency International chair Huguette Labelle.

"With growing influence comes a greater responsibility that should constitute an opportunity for good," added Labelle.

"This is the right time for Russia, China and India to commit to the provisions of the OECD Convention against Bribery and contribute to the vitality of tomorrow's markets. In doing so they will become part of the effort to make corruption history."

The report was also critical of US' efforts to minimise bribery. The United States, which blazed new trails with its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, ought to be leading the way, but ranks behind many OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, the report stated.

The United Kingdom has demonstrated minimal enforcement of the Convention, despite scandals implicating firms such as British Aerospace.

Even high scorers, the report said, need major improvement. The behaviour of the Australian Wheat Board in the UN Oil-for-Food programme is just one example. In March of this year, German-US motor company DaimlerChrysler admitted that an internal probe confirmed allegations of 'improper payments' made by their staff in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

In Asia, strong domestic anti-corruption measures at home are not consistently translating into responsible business practices abroad, especially for Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. They are assessed significantly worse by respondents from non-OECD countries - the same divide is evident for the United Arab Emirates - indicating a sharp double standard in business practices.

With the lion's share of its exports going to the United States, Mexico has a high score that stands out regionally, against a poorly-scoring Brazil.

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