Almost five out of 10 persons admitted to paying bribes in the last one year to avail primarily of government services and eight in every 10 persons paid bribe at a local level to police, employees of municipal departments or for matters relating to property registration and VAT, according to a sample survey by an online platform.
LocalCircles, which conducted the India Corruption Survey claimed the poll received one lakh responses to a set of eight questions with participants from 200 cities.
When asked how many times they had to grease palms, 25% said they did this several times and another 20% said they paid bribe once or twice in the last one year. According to the survey, 84% respondents who paid bribes said they paid this to local government or administration. Another 9% said they paid bribe for works relating to provident fund, income tax, service tax, railways and for tenders. Over one-third of the respondents said they felt paying bribe was the only way to get work done while about 20% felt saying no would have resulted in delay in service.
The survey also found that more than half of the respondents felt state or local governments have not taken any step to reduce corruption in the last one year. About 42% respondents felt though some measures had been taken, these were ineffective. Respondents also admitted that reporting corruption is a tough job and only 9% respondents said their state government has a functional hotline for reporting such offences.
Based on another survey in which 35,000 respondents participated, the agency ranked 12 states which have seen a drop in bribes changing hands. Uttar Pradesh ranked at the top of the list of states which have been able to reduce corruption followed by Maharashra and Delhi. Gujarat ranked fourth. Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal came at the bottom of the table.
“According to citizens, it should be mandatory for all commissioners, district magistrates, state and central government secretaries of various ranks, MPs and MLAs to be accessible on social media. Also, citizens said that there is a need for connectivity between rural leaders and citizens at zila panchayat level to reduce rural corruption and steps must be taken to enable the same,“ the survey findings suggested.