New Delhi, Nov 2019: One in two Indian citizens paid a bribe in the last one year, according to India Corruption Survey 2019, which also pointed out that the most number of bribes were demanded during property registration, by the police, municipality and transport departments, Zee reported.
India’s ranking in the Corruption Perception Index 2018 released by Transparency International, has improved 3 places compared to last year and we now stand at 78th position out of 180 countries.
The survey report, which said that corruption in India fell 10% in 2019, sampled 1.9 lakh respondents across India. It was conducted by LocalCircles in collaboration with Transparency International India.
The report said, "The percentage of citizens who paid a bribe this year has come down to 51% compared to 56% last year. This number has stood at 45% in the year 2017." The dip from 2018 levels of 56% to 51% in 2019 is a positive trend without any external interventions.
Upon reviewing citizen discussions in the online community “Together Against Corruption” on LocalCircles, it is evident that corruption took a dip in 2017 post demonetization as people did not have cash readily available to pay bribes at least for some part of the year.
The survey further reveals that people in Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Kerala, Goa, and Odisha reported low instances of corruption while Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, and Punjab had higher occurrences.
Most people surveyed said they paid bribes at government offices due to coercion or inefficiencies. The survey has found that bribery persists in government offices despite CCTV cameras and computerisation.
According to the survey, most bribes are paid through cash (35%), followed by indirectly, i.e., through an agent (30%) and in-kind through gifts of other favours (6%), while the remaining 37% said that they did not need to pay a bribe to get their work done.
Most respondents (38%) said that paying a bribe was the only way to get work done, while 26% said they paid a bribe as it would have otherwise taken them a long time to get ahead of the queue.
Notably, LocalCircles in collaboration with Transparency International India has concluded India Corruption Survey 2019 to ascertain the level of domestic corruption in the country and gather citizen pulse on corruption. This survey, conducted third year in a row, has been compiled as the ‘India Corruption Survey 2019’.
Key highlights of the Survey
1. The survey was conducted in 20 states across the country.
2. 56% citizens of the country had paid bribes, according to the 2018 survey. But this year’s survey reveals a definite and noticeable reduction in the number of times bribes are paid by the citizens either directly or indirectly. The reduced percentage of citizens is 51%.
3. The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2018 which was hailed as a force that would deter the Government employees from indulging in bribery, has starting to show some effects, as is evident from the numbers from this year’s survey.
4. Awareness about existing state hotlines/helplines to report corruption is still a big issue as 61% citizens in this year’s survey said they were unaware of any such hotline in their state.
5. Although CCTVs are a slight deterrent, bribery still continues in Government offices despite major computerisation. Agents continue to thrive and cash is still the preferred way to pay bribes.
6. Property registration and land issues are a top area of corruption.
7. Citizens say there has been no reduction in instances of bribery by police in the last 12 months.
8. Majority said they paid bribes due to coercion or inefficiencies prevailing in Government offices.
9. Only 6% citizens said that effective steps have been taken by their state Government or local administration to reduce corruption in the last 12 months.
10. Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Kerala, Goa and Odisha turned out to be the states where citizens reported low instances of corruption.
11. Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, and Punjab were the states where citizens reported higher instances of corruption.