WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Majorities of Indians continue to see corruption as widespread in their country's government and business, with 73% in early 2012 saying it is pervasive in their government and 67% saying it is widespread in business. However, Indians are less likely to feel this way this year than they have been in several years, which may reflect rising optimism about the government and citizen efforts to fight the country's corruption problems.
Among other serious allegations of corruption in early 2011, India's telecommunications minister Andimuthu Raja was arrested for selling publicly owned mobile phone frequency licenses to entrepreneurs at cut-rate prices. And Indians rallied last year around Anna Hazare, a social activist who went on a hunger strike to call attention to India's endemic corruption problems and pressure the government to enact anti-corruption legislation. On Feb. 2 this year, before Gallup started conducting interviews, India's Supreme Court revoked the illegally awarded telecom licenses -- possibly giving hope to millions of Indians that their government may be prepared to rein in corruption.
Perceptions of Corruption in Business Higher Among Entrepreneurs
Perceptions of widespread corruption within the business community are particularly high among current business owners (72%) and those who plan to start a business within the next 12 months (80%). This likely puts a serious roadblock in the path of investment and business development.
Confidence in Government Fails to Improve
Although Indians are less likely this year to see corruption as widespread in their government, their confidence in the country's leadership remains lower than it was a few years ago. Sixty percent currently say they are confident in their national government, down from 70% in 2009. Residents likely became more frustrated when government ministers spent valuable legislative time addressing political scandals instead of the country's deteriorating economic conditions.
The beginning of 2012 shows signs of what could be the start of a positive turnaround in Indians' perceptions of corruption. If the trend continues, it may signal a more favorable business climate for investment and economic growth. Further, a substantial boost in the economy and living standards -- particularly for the nearly one in three Indians who rate their lives poorly enough to be considering "suffering" -- may help raise Indians' confidence in their government.
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Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 5,000 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted Jan. 29-March 8, 2012, in India. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±1.7 percentage points. Surveys in prior years were conducted with between 2,000 and 6,000 Indian adults and the margin of error for previous surveys are ranging from ±1.7 to ±2.6 percentage points. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
For more complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.