ISLAMABAD: The National Corruption Perception Survey (NCPS) 2021 conducted by the Transparency International- Pakistan (TI-P) has placed police as the most corrupt department followed by judiciary, tendering process and health.
TI-P conducted National Corruption Perception Survey 2021 in all four provinces from October 14, 2021 to October 27, 2021. The corruption level in nine sectors have also been evaluated in which, according to the general public, Police (41.4%) remains the most corrupt sector, judiciary (17.4%) is seen as the 2nd most corrupt, Tendering and contracting (10.3%) is the 3rd most corrupt, and healthcare (7.5%) is the fourth most corrupt sector in Pakistan.
When people were asked which period of government had the highest inflation, 92.9% of the people opined that the period from 2018 to 2021 has the highest inflation which is the period of the sitting PTI government. The second highest period had been from 2013 to 2018, which is the period of PML-N government, and the third highest period had been from 2008 to 2013, which is the period of PPP government.
The survey also sheds light on local government and how its presence could have helped Pakistan establish a firmer grip on the situation arising out of Covid-19. It notes that about 47.8% of Pakistanis considered that if local government elected representatives were in place, Covid-19 public awareness campaigns could have been launched in an effective manner.
In the absence of elected local bodies, 72.8% believe that corruption has increased in Pakistan, and majority of them (50.6%) considered incompetence of government as the main reason behind increasing inflation and unemployment.
The NCPS maintains that 89.1% of Pakistanis have said that they did not pay any bribe to any government official during the federal government’s Covid-19 relief efforts for deserving citizens.
During the last three years, 85.9% Pakistanis believe that their income has decreased. According to the Pakistanis, weak accountability (51.9%) is the main reason behind corruption, whereas in order to curb corruption, 40.1% said that government should immediately increase punishments.
Commenting on questions related to accountability, 85.9% Pakistanis are not satisfied with the government’s self-accountability, and 66.8% believe that the process of accountability is biased.
Three most important causes of corruption, according to NCPS 2021 are weak accountability (51.9%), greed of powerful people (29.3%) and low salaries (18.8%).
As measures to reduce corruption, 40.1% Pakistanis say increase/ stringent punishments for corruption cases, 34.6% Pakistanis say accountability of public officers by expediting NAB’s handling of corruption cases, and 25.3% say complete ban on those convicted in corruption from holding public office, are key to combat corruption in Pakistan.
A significant population (81.4%) has stated that they do not willingly pay bribe and likewise it was a clear perception that bribes are rather extorted from the public through tactics such as inaction or delay, in the provision of public services.
The main reasons for rising inflation and unemployment as per the survey results are: government’s incompetence (50.6%), corruption (23.3%), undue interference of politicians in government affairs (9.6%) and lack of implementation of policies (16.6%).
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021