Indian firms have been ranked as the fourth worst bribe payers across the world, Transparency International reports in its 2008 Bribe Payers Index (BPI).
If it’s any consolation, India is in the top league along with other emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia and China, the so-called Bric countries. Russia and China are ahead of India in the ranking in terms of worst performers.
There can be no single cause that can be ascribed for this state of affairs. It is, however, too tempting to resist drawing a link between our flawed political and administrative system and the obstacles it places in the path of running businesses.
Russia and China, however, provide comparative support for such conclusions. The prolonged spell of Communist party rule sans public accountability are, clearly, factors to be reckoned in those countries.
India may not have witnessed those extremes, but our own version of control and command has bestowed us with a similar legacy, one now seen in BPI rankings.