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Police Considered ‘Most Corrupt’ Sector in Transparency International Survey

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo. Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Over 90 percent of respondents consider rampant inflation, price hikes to be higher in PTI tenure than PPP, PMLN governments

Over 41 percent of surveyed Pakistanis consider police to be the “most corrupt” sector in the country, followed by the judiciary (17.4%), according to a national corruption perception survey conducted by Transparency International Pakistan (TIP).

The National Corruption Perception Survey 2021 sought out 400 questionnaires from each province, totaling 1,600 respondents nationwide. According to TIP, the survey comprised 13 questions that were referred to people of diverse socio-economic classes from four cities/towns in each province that were deemed to be representative of the entire country. Of the 1,600 respondents, 1,173 were men and 427 women.

The results, published on Tuesday, found that a majority of Pakistanis believe corruption in government sectors remains high. After the police and judiciary, 10.3% respondents considered tendering and contracting as the most corrupt sector; survey results show 59.8% respondents cited contracts of roads as the public service for which people have to pay bribes. Additionally, 13.3% cited access to water and 13.1% drainage systems as additionally services that required bribes.

The majority of respondents (51.9%) cited weak accountability as the most important cause of corruption, followed by greed of powerful people (29.3%), and low salaries (18.8%).

According to the survey results, 40.1% Pakistani believe increasing punishments for corruption will reduce the problem. Additionally, 34.6% say expediting NAB’s handling of corruption cases and 25.3% say a total ban on convicted individuals holding public office is key to combating corruption.

“A significant population (81.4%) has declined that they 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,” read the report issued by TIP.

Inflation and income

A whopping 92.9% of respondents said they considered “inflation and price hike to be the highest in the current PTI government (2018-2021)”. By comparison 4.6% said it was higher during the PMLN’s tenure from 2013-2018 and 2.5% said it was higher in the PPP government of 2008-2013.

This figure coincided with 85.9% Pakistanis saying their income levels had shrunk in the past three years, with 50.6% saying this was due to government incompetence. However, 23.3% blamed corruption for the inflation and loss of income, while 16.6% blamed a lack of policy implementation and 9.6% blamed “undue interference” of politicians in government affairs.

A majority of the survey respondents—85.9%–believed the federal government’s self-accountability was unsatisfactory, with 66.8% saying it was biased.

Local government

To survey questions on whether they believed preventative measures regarding the COVID-19 pandemic would have proved more effective in the presence of a local government, 47.8% respondents said the government’s awareness campaigns would have proved more effective if elected representatives of local bodies were present. A majority, 72.8%, said they believed corruption at the grassroots level had increased in the public sector due to the absence of local governments.

To the government’s credit, 89.1% of respondents said they had not paid bribes to any government officials during the government’s pandemic-related relief efforts.

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