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India dips by five spots in global bribery risk rankings

Context:

A global list by TRACE, an anti-bribery standard setting organisation, measures business bribery risk in 194 countries, territories, and autonomous and semi-autonomous regions.

Relevance:

GS-II: Governance (Accountability and Transparency in Governance)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the Bribery Risk Matrix
  2. Highlights of the Bribery Risk Matrix 2021
  3. The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
  4. Other steps in India that help reduce corruption

About the Bribery Risk Matrix

  • The Bribery Risk Matrix 2021 by TRACE, an anti-bribery standard setting organization aggregates relevant data obtained from leading public interest and international organisations, including the United Nations, World Bank, V-Dem Institute at the University of Gothenburg and World Economic Forum.
  • It was originally published in 2014 to meet a need in the business community for more reliable and nuanced information about the risks of commercial bribery worldwide.
  • Score is calculated on the basis of four factors:
    1. Enforcement and anti-bribery deterrence.
    2. Business interactions with the government.
    3. Government and civil service transparency.
    4. Capacity for civil society oversight which includes the media’s role.

Highlights of the Bribery Risk Matrix 2021

  • North Korea, Turkmenistan, Venezuela and Eritrea pose the highest commercial bribery risk, while Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand present the lowest.
  • Over the past five years, the business bribery risk environment in the United States worsened significantly when compared with global trends.
  • From 2020 to 2021, all of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries saw an increase in commercial bribery risk.
  • India has slipped to 82nd position in 2021, five places down from 77th rank in 2020.
  • Pakistan, China, Nepal and Bangladesh are ranked lower with lower score compared to India. However, Bhutan secured 62nd rank.

The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988

  • The Prevention of Corruption Act clearly criminalizes the act of giving bribes and will help check big ticket corruption by creating a vicarious liability in respect of senior management of commercial organizations.
  • Under PCA, 1988 the Central Government has the power to appoint judges to investigate and try those cases where the following offences have been committed
    1. Offences punishable under the act
    2. A conspiracy to commit or an attempt to commit the offences specified under the act.
  • Offences under the PCA, 1988
    1. Taking gratification other than legal remuneration
    2. Taking gratification with the purpose of influencing a public servant, through illegal and corrupt means
    3. Taking gratification with the purpose of wielding personal influence with public servant   
    4. Act of criminal misconduct by the public servant

Other steps in India that help reduce corruption

  • Disbursement of welfare benefits directly to the citizens under various schemes of the Government in a transparent manner through the Direct Benefit Transfer initiative.
  • Implementation of E-tendering in public procurements.
  • Introduction of e-Governance and simplification of procedure and systems.
  • Introduction of Government procurement through the Government e- Marketplace (GeM).

-Source: The Hindu

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