Nearly 58 per cent of Indians believe bribery and corruption is widespread in the country, according to the EY Global Fraud Survey 2016. The figure has come down from 68 per cent in 2014, when the Narendra Modi-led NDA government came to power. However, it is higher than the global average of 39 per cent, which means there is still much ground to cover, according to the survey. This report was originally published in The Hindu.
Besides, 80 per cent of Indian respondents are of the opinion that individual prosecutions will help deter such instances in the future, which is almost on par with the global perspective, at 83 per cent, said the survey.
The need for transparency, however, has India wanting more: 84 per cent of the regional respondents find it necessary to determine the ultimate beneficiary while dealing with other businesses or third parties.
“India’s focus on maintaining its global perception as an avid business destination requires a thorough follow through, in terms of adherence to global compliance principles. While the current regime is seeding change through several macro changes in law and regulation, the focus needs to be on the granular aspects to make this change a reality. This places considerable onus on individuals and their actions will be under the scanner more than ever before,” said Arpinder Singh, partner and national leader, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services, EY India.
Today, the global business environment is clamouring for enhanced transparency at a time of increased geopolitical tensions and heightened volatility in financial markets, said the survey.
E&Y believes that escalating threats of cybercrime, terrorist financing and, more recently, the revelations regarding widespread possible misuse of offshore jurisdictions, have increased pressure on governments to act and companies to identify and mitigate fraud, bribery and corruption issues.
Regulators recognise the threat that bribery and corruption pose to a financial system already under stress and are increasingly cooperating across borders to hold individuals accountable for illegal acts. The magnitude of the issues prevalent today has made governments and agencies more aware of the need for proactive measures to prevent such distraught circumstances at a later stage, Mr Singh said.
Report originally published in The Hindu