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India one of most corrupt countries

Last updated on: March 29, 2011 15:30 IST

India one of most corrupt countries

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India finds itself bracketed with countries like Philippines and Cambodia, rated as the fourth most corrupt nation among 16 countries of the Asia Pacific surveyed by leading Hong Kong-based business consultancy firm PERC.

The Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd rated India at 8.67 on a scale of zero to 10 with the high end being the worst case of corruption scenario and ahead of the Philippines (8.9 points), Indonesia (9.25 points) and Cambodia (9.27 points).

Among the 16 countries reviewed in its latest report, Thailand was rated at 11 with a scale of 7.55, followed by China (7.93) and Vietnam (8.3).

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Image: India is the fourth most corrupt country.
Photographs: Reuters
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Comparatively, Singapore was given a clean sheet with a score of 0.37, followed by Hong Kong (1.10), Australia (1.39), Japan (1.90) and United States (2.39), putting them in the top five.

In India, according to the report, civil and other local-level political leaders were found more corrupt than the national-level political leaders, with the former given a score of 9.25 and the latter slightly better at 8.97.

Indian civil servants at the city level too were rated at 8.18, worst than the civil servants at the national level (7.76).

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Image: Cambodia has been rated the most corrupt.
Photographs: Reuters
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India one of most corrupt countries

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The issue of corruption has grown and overshadowed the second term in office of the Congress-led coalition headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said PERC in its Asian Intelligence report on Asian business and politics.

The government has been wracked by a series of scandals involving the sale of telecom licenses, preparations for the Commonwealth Games, a land scam involving high level military officers, and improper property loans made by state-owned financial institutions, it said.

Though investigations were under way to be followed by court trials, Indians were still questioning whether or not the prime minister has the political muscle to fight graft and whether the actions now being taken were more for show than proof that the government was really cracking down on business practices that were common but corrupt, it said.

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Image: United States occupies the eighth position.
Photographs: Reuters
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Singh has been put in such a defensive position that most of his recent statements have been to stress how he has not personally been involved with corruption, even though it appears that almost everyone around him was, observed PERC.

"This point is underscored by a recent WikiLeaks report that the ruling Congress Party paid off parliamentarians back in 2008 to pass the US-India civil nuclear deal," it said.


Image: Singapore has been rated the least corrupt.
Photographs: Reuters
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