After fighting a eight-year long war in Iraq killing thousands of citizens in name of action against nuclear weapons, the United States is going to withdraw its troops from the country leaving behind a society full of corruption and the bureaucrats enjoying unchallengeable authority. As the bloodshed is going to see and end gradually and both local and foreign investors are approaching the arriving back in the country to invest the capital but kickback and red-tape is impeding their investment.
The business community now considers Iraq as country of bribes and the government employees usually show hostile attitude in their office, and due to their non-cooperation the investors feel discouraged. Until they pay bribe, the investors have to face a delay for even minor works and even they would create unnecessary hurdles. After the US invasion, the people of Iraq had a good chance to cleanse the society from corruption along with the removal of Saddam Hussein and command-and-control economy.
But unfortunately, they could achieve nothing as the US troops are leaving behind a nation where corruption is rampant, power crisis is looming and economy is suffering badly. Even the World Bank in its report ranked Iraq at 174 out of 183 countries when it comes to the facilities for starting a business.
Transparency International also ranked Iraq at 175 out of 178 in 2010 as only Afghanistan, Myanmar and Somalia were termed worse. Iraq’s economy is oil-driven as almost 95 percent of total revenue comes from oil market and since the fall of Saddam, the country had been urging the foreign investors to exploit country’s oil resources.
But again, the bureaucracy and corruption proves to be major hurdle. What to talk of extending major facilities, visa seeking is also not an easy task for them. Realizing the situation, the experts claim that the country’s small scale industry can provide enough jobs than the oil market. They said the country can create a competitive atmosphere by introducing local products and encouraging entrepreneurship instead of banking upon imports.
The improvement of business atmosphere is also essential for uplift of the lives of Iraqi people. However, the efforts to curb the menaces of corruption and minimize the role of bureaucracy are lacking. The government claims that such reforms process is usually time-taking, though they were striving to purge the society of these evils.
The small and medium enterprises contribute only six percent of country’s GDP contrary to the United States where the sector makes up almost half of the GDP. Even getting a piece of paper from a government office, the people, who intend to invest billions of dollars in the country, have to move from pillar to post. They can avoid whole trouble by paying just a bribe of $20.
The people, who have managed to initiate small business by hook or by crook usually, face the problem when they plan to extend it. If they apply for the loan, they are also no exception to corruption. The United States can only justify its eight-year long stay in Iraq only if the troops leave behind a society free from corruption, where bureaucracy dedicates itself public service and the menace of bribe is root out, otherwise the people of Iraq would never pardon the US Administration.