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‘Indians trust businesses most,govt the least’

Recent controversies over financial irregularities in 3G,CWG seems to have hurt the govt’s image.

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
February 11, 2011 1:05:23 am

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent concerns that corruption is denting the country’s image abroad and ‘demeaning’ the government before the people seem to be coming true as a survey has revealed that Indians have the least trust in their government. On the contrary,they have a healthy respect for businesses.

Recent controversies over financial irregularities in the auction of third generation spectrum,preparations for the Commonwealth Games and the issue of black money stashed abroad seems to have hurt the government’s image,while the strong recovery by Indian firms in the wake of the financial crisis seems to have made them the most trusted entities. The 11th Edelman Trust Barometer 2011 has revealed that just 44 per cent of Indians trust the government,which is the lowest amongst seven countries in Asia Pacific and is also below the global average of 54 per cent. It is however a notch higher than 2010,when 43 per cent of Indians trusted the government.

“While business continues to enjoy high levels of trust,clearly NGOs are emerging as a significant part of the landscape. This perhaps reflects a desire for an ‘independent arbiter’ in the wake of a series of recent,well-publicised scams in both the private and public sectors,” said Robert Holdheim,MD,Edelman India. However,the survey revealed that this year businesses are the most trusted entities in the country with 70 per cent of Indians giving their vote to them. This is well above the global average of 58 per cent and even Asia Pacific average of 61 per cent. The trust that Indians bestow on business has risen steadily from 67 per cent last year.

Meanwhile,non government organisations are the second highest trusted entities in the country with 61 per cent of the people supporting them,while just 50 per cent trust the media. “The results would suggest that business and government would both do well to engage with NGOs to a higher degree than previously. The continued decline in trust in media is a concern given the strong,independent role media has played historically in the country,” Holdheim said.

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But despite their steady performance and the many cross border acquisitions that they have made,Indian companies are yet to generate global trust,especially in the developed countries according to the Trust Barometer. “This could be because few well-known Indian companies operate in international markets,” a release said.

However Indian companies have managed to outperform BRIC companies from Brazil and China in the survey. Globally,trust in India-headquartered companies at 42 per cent ranks higher than trust in Brazil-headquartered companies (40 per cent) and is significantly higher than trust in Chinese companies (now at 39 per cent) as well as Russian firms (35 per cent).

This is the fifth annual exercise by the Edelman Trust Barometer in India,since 2007 and has surveyed 200 college educated people in the country. Globally,the survey consists of 5,037 people between the ages of 25 to 64,spread across 23 countries.

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