Sujay Mehdudia

NEW DELHI: At least 30 per cent of the 2,742 business executives surveyed across the world regard Indians among the most corrupt when doing business abroad, according to the latest report by an NGO, Transparency International India (TII).

“The Global Corruption Report 2009: Corruption and the Private Sector (GCR) claims that Indian and Chinese companies play an active role in global business but engage in bribery when doing business abroad. The Competition Act enacted in 2002, which promotes and sustains competition in markets and protects the interest of consumers, has remained a non-starter in India,” says the report released here on Thursday.

“A minimum of 100 senior executives each in 26 countries were questioned regarding the practices used by business persons from various nations. Transparency International has had some measure of success with public sector firms with the use of Integrity Pact, a tool to check corruption in procurement and tendering. We have not been able to generate similar interest among the private sector yet,” TII chairman R.H. Tahiliani said in a statement.

India boasts some of the world’s largest markets yet they are regarded by their peers as among the most corrupt when doing business abroad. Thirty per cent of the respondents in Transparency International’s 2008 Bribe Payers Index indicated that companies from India were likely to bribe low-level public officials to speed things up.

The GCR shows how corrupt practices constitute a destructive force that undermines fair competition, stifles economic growth and ultimately undercuts a business’s own existence. In the last two years alone, companies have had to pay billions in fines due to corrupt practices.

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