Even as there are efforts to push India towards a digital economy, cash is still the king; even for paying bribes. About 40% of Indians have admitted to paying bribes in hard cash, a survey has shown. Despite promises to curb corruption by political leaders and even the enactment of a stricter law, bribery is rampant in cash, kind, through favours and via agents.
The India Corruption Survey 2018 conducted by Transparency International India and LocalCircles showed that 39% Indians have admitted to paying bribes in cash. “Cash is still the primary mode of bribery. Around 39% of participants paid cash as bribery, followed by bribes through agents (25%) and bribes in kind (1%),” it said.
Moreover, the percentage of people admitting to paying bribe has increased significantly from 45% in 2017 to 56% in 2018, the online survey which got over 1.6 lakh responses showed.
Behind the rampant corruption in the country, there are several reasons including lack of anti-corruption measure. “Bribe giving has become extremely rampant in the country due to bureaucratic red-tapism and incompetence,” the survey said. However, CCTV cameras have been a deterrence for the offenders. Only 13% Indians paid bribes at offices at were computerised and had function CCTV cameras, as against 31% that paid bribes where there were no/defunct CCTV cameras.
The survey also revealed that most bribes were paid for property registrations and land-related matters, followed by police and municipal corporation. 36% Indians admitted that giving bribes was the only way to get the work done.
Of the 13 states, where the survey was conducted, Gujarat, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh turned out to be the least corrupt states, while Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Tamil Nadu turned out to be the most corrupt states, the survey showed. The Parliament in July passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018, which makes bribery punishable up to seven years in prison for both bribery giver and taker.