Hong Kong survey claims Indian bureaucracy `most stifling in the world'

     A survey carried out by a Hong Kong-based risk consultancy firm has found the bureaucracy in India to be the most 'stifling in the world'. According to the BBC, Hong Kong-based group, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy surveyed more than 1,300 business executives in 12 Asian countries and came to the conclusion that India had the worst levels of excessive red tape. The report ranks bureaucracies across Asia on a scale from one to 10, with 10 being the worst possible score. India scored 9.41. However, it says that there has so far been no response to the report from the Indian civil service. The report further warns that the inertia generated by a stifling bureaucratic system will, in the medium term, prevent India matching the growth rates of China, its competing economic rival in Asia. It also says that starting a business in India is incredibly hard, and enforcing contracts can be nigh on impossible. The report says there is a strong link between bureaucracy and corruption, and a widely held belief that bureaucrats are selfish and highly insensitive to the needs of the people they are supposed to help. None of this will come as any surprise to most Indians, or to many within the civil service itself. A recent survey of the Indian bureaucracy found large numbers of civil servants complaining of undue political interference, and a widespread fear that anyone questioning the system would be transferred to obscure postings in bureaucratic backwaters.

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