ISLAMABAD: More than 50 per cent of Pakistanis believe that the country is facing problems of rising inflation and unemployment due to the “incompetence” of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government, according to a nationwide perceptions survey conducted by Transparency International (TI).

The survey was released by Trans­parency International on Wednesday titled “National Corruption Perception Survey (NCPS) 2021”.

The survey says 50.6pc Pakistanis see government’s incompetence behind the rising inflation whereas 23.3pc citizens consider corruption as the main reason for their economic woes.

Survey conducted in all the provinces ranks police as the most corrupt sector, followed by judiciary

The survey further says that 16.6pc people are of the view that lack of implementation of policies is the main reason for the rising inflation in the country.

The survey shows that a majority of Pakistanis (66.8pc) consider the present government’s accountability drive as partial.

The survey was conducted in the four provinces from October 14 to 27 this year, with 1,600 respondents.

The survey revealed that police remain the most corrupt sector, judiciary was seen as second-most corrupt, tendering and contracting third most corrupt while health sector has become the fourth most corrupt since the last NCPS conducted in 2011.

According to Judicial Statistics of Pakistan 2020 report by National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee, there are 46,698 cases pending in Supreme Court and 1,772,990 cases pending in district judiciary.

A vast majority (85.9pc) of people considered the federal government’s self-accountability to be unsatisfactory.

Three most important causes of corruption, according to the NCPS, 2021, are weak accountability (51.9pc), greed of powerful people (29.3pc) and low salaries (18.8pc).

When asked to suggest measures to reduce corruption, 40.1pc people say increase or stringent punishments for corruption cases, 34.6pc people say accountability of public officers by expediting NAB’s handling of corruption cases and 25.3pc say complete ban on those convicted in corruption from holding public office are key to combat corruption in Pakistan.

The survey also sheds light on local government and how its presence could have helped Pakistan establish a firmer grip on the situation arising out of Covid-19. About 47.8pc of Pakistanis considered that if local elected representatives were in place, Covid-19 public awareness campaigns could have been launched in an effective manner.

As many as 89.1pc of Pakistanis say they did not pay any bribe to any government official during the federal government’s Covid-19 relief efforts for deserving citizens. A significant population (81.4pc) 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.

Compared to the three federal governments, majority of Pakistanis (92.9pc) consider inflation and price hike to be the highest in the current PTI government, compared to 4.6pc in the PML-N government (2013-18) and 2.5pc in the PPP government (2008-13). This coincides with 85.9pc Pakistanis who say that their income levels have rather squeezed and decreased over the last three years.

The list of public services for which people had to pay bribes, according to the corruption perception survey, was topped by contracts of roads (59.8pc), cleanliness and garbage collection (13.8pc), access to water (13.3pc) and drainage system (13.1pc).

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2021

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