Seventy five per cent households across 13 states feel that the level of corruption has increased or remained the same during the last one year, while 27 per cent confessed to paying a bribe to avail public services in the last one year, according to a new survey. The ‘India Corruption Study’ conducted by the Centre For Media Studies covered more than 2,000 households from over 200 rural and urban clusters of 13 states — Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Karantaka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Bengal. The report covered 11 public services — public distribution system (PDS), electricity, health, school education, water supply , banking services, police, judicial services, land/housing and transport and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS, only rural).
The study by CMS, a not-for-profit, multi-disciplinary development research and facilitative think-tank set-up in 1991, estimates that households in the 13 states that were part of the study would have paid between Rs 2,500 to Rs 2,800 crore during a year to avail these public services. People had to pay a bribe even for getting basic identification documents as seven per cent paid a bribe to get an Aadhaar card and three per cent to get a voter ID card, the report said.
The report was released by Prakash Singh, former director general of police, Uttar Pradesh, along with CMS chairman Dr N Bhaskara Rao. “Corruption is a causative factor which contributed to turbulence in Assam, insurgency in Nagaland, the devastating terrorist movement in Punjab and separatist movement in Kashmir. Corruption causes disaffection among people and dissatisfaction with the system and has far-reaching consequences. In some cases, it can lead to toppling of governments,” Singh said. He said that corruption must be contained, else it would contain India’s progress and development.
The report, however, said that between 2005 and 2018, there was a significant decline in households that experienced corruption. While 52 per cent households had said that they faced corruption in 2005, the number has reduced to 27 per cent this year. The report also said that 73 per cent households in Telangana were asked to pay bribe to avail public services, while that number in the national capital stood at 29 per cent.