India is above the world's bribing average

Indian men walk past a billboard advertisement for a butter manufacturing company - taking a pun on recent corruption scandals in the country - in Mumbai on November 17, 2010. India has been in the midst of a scandal spree with the latest involving a former telecommunications minister over a multi-billion-dollar scandal in which government contracts were handed out at 'unbelievably low prices' while earlier in the month two senior figures in India's ruling party resigned under heavy pressure over separate corruption scandals involving apartments meant for war widows and the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The world is getting more corrupt. That's according to a new survey from the group Transparency International. In fact, the report claims a quarter of people around the world have paid a bribe in the last year. And one of the worst places is India.

From New Delhi, the BBC's Divya Arya reports.


DIVYA ARYA: When you think of corruption, places like Iraq and Afghanistan usually come to mind. But this survey says some surprisingly developed countries are also near the top.

Three quarters of Indians asked say the country has become more corrupt in the past three years -- and more than half have paid a bribe, way above the worldwide average.

Mr. A. N. Tiwari leads an anti-corruption body within the government. He says the problem is out of control.

A. N. TIWARI: No sector of the government is now free from corruption. I don't believe the traditional instruments available to the government can combat this corruption.

The government itself has recently become involved in a huge scandal over cell phone licenses -- and allegations of fraud. Clearly, there's still a lot to clean up in a country that prides itself on being the world's biggest democracy

In New Delhi, I'm the BBC's Divya Arya, for Marketplace.

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