Corruption Remains Major Threat to Continued Indian Globalization

In 2010 the US Commercial Service, in its “Doing Business in India” guide, noted: “U.S. firms have identified corruption as one obstacle to foreign direct investment. Indian businessmen agree that red tape and wide-ranging administrative discretion serve as a pretext to extort money. According to some foreign business representatives in India, corruption lies in the lack of transparency in the rules of governance, extremely cumbersome official procedures, and excessive and unregulated discretionary power in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats.”   Since then the situation seems to have become even more problematic with an article in The Economist reporting in March 2011 that [c]orruption is dreadful in India . . . [and] [w]orries have grown that graft is scaring away foreign businesses”.  The same article referred to an survey released by PERC, a Shanghai-based consultancy, that indicated that investors are more negative because of corruption than they were five years ago and that India ranked fourth among 16 Asian countries among 1,275 businesspeople questioned with regard to the level of corruption—worse than China or Vietnam and on a par with countries such as Cambodia.  Corruption is derailing deals that need to be completed in order to resolve fundamental infrastructure issues in India and foreign investment in 2010 ($24 billion) was down a third from the year before, although factors other than corruption (i.e., bureaucracy, weak property rights and limits on foreign investment in certain sectors) contributed to investor wariness of committing more capital to India.  Adding insult to injury is that not only are investors being asked to pay bribes but in many instances the officials who take the funds ultimately fail to “deliver their side of the bargain”.  The article noted that in other countries where bribes are expected and paid, such as China, investors can at least be assured that they will get what they bargained for, thus leading some to comment that graft can sometimes actually be an “efficient” way to conduct business in certain markets.

2 thoughts on “Corruption Remains Major Threat to Continued Indian Globalization

  1. what is globalization

    Hi! Thank you for this fascinating post. I’m not an expert in this field, but still, it is disturbing to see how corruption, bribes and extortion are in the core of this debate. All in all, in every field (I come from the anthropology field), it is fascinating to explore what happens when the global meets the local. thanks.

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