Home Site Map
Writings Home Page

India Corruption Report 2007

Indians below poverty line paid Rs 883 Crores as bribes last year!

The good news is that Police in India is not as corrupt as it seems (78% perceived the Police to be corrupt, whereas “only” 48% experienced corruption in police), while the bad news is 4.5% of BPL households in India could not even register a complaint with the Police because they could not afford the bribe.

Between November 2007 and January 2008, 22,728 randomly selected BPL households were interviewed across the country, using the PEE Model (Perception, Experience & Estimation) and the results, compiled in the form of India Corruption Report 2007, were released in June 2008 by Transparency International India and Center for Media Studies.

Out of 11 Services which were assessed, 5 were regarded as Basic, i.e. everyone needed them (PDS, Hospitals, School Education, Electricity and Water Supply), while 6 were regarded as Need Based (Police, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Land Records and Registration, Forest, Housing & Banking).
Corruption Ranking of Services
Services Rank
Police 1
Land Records / Registration 2
Housing 3
Water Supply 4
Forest 6
Electricity 7
Health 8
Banking 10
School Education 11
TII – CMS India Corruption Study 2007

Not surprisingly the Police came out to be the most corrupt, with the poorest households of our country paying Rs 214.8 Crores as bribes to the men in uniform. About 48% had to pay a bribe to get their complaints registered and sadly 4.5% could not even afford the bribe and so their complaints went unregistered.

Following the Police closely on the Corruption Scale was the Land Records and Registration Service. With 36% of families paying bribes to get their work done, the total bribe paid in this sector was a whooping Rs 123.4 Crore. Most of the bribe was for obtaining land records. Significantly, more than half of these families visited the Office more than 3 times for obtaining the records. About 4% families could not get their work done as they could not pay the bribes asked.

Similar is the story with all other departments. 7.5 million BPL households paid Rs 23.9 Crores to the Water Supply department last year, mostly for installation or maintenance of hand pumps. 28.4 million BPL households paid 104 Crore rupees to the Electricity department, about a third for a new connection and a fourth for getting their faulty meter corrected.

Rs 12 Crore were paid to persons in the Education department, mostly for school admissions, passing of students in examinations or for obtaining certificates. About 7% BPL families had to pay a bribe to simply register for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and a whooping 4.4% could not even avail the Scheme as they could not afford the bribe. Similarly 2% BPL families could not access the Public Distribution System, School Education and Electricity Services because of their inability to pay bribes. Ironically the NREGS and PDS are primarily designed for BPL families.

Corruption is endemic in our country with not one State coming in the Low Corruption Zone and interestingly the extent of corruption that BPL households experience is the same in Urban and Rural area. Compared to previous years a higher percentage of BPL households who tried to avail these services, found that corruption had increased in the last one year, especially in Police, Land Record Registration and Housing Services. Corruption was significantly more in Need based Services than in Basic Services.

One of the striking features of the report is the failure of recent initiatives like e-governance, RTI, Social Audit or Citizens Charters, to benefit the BPL households. Lack of awareness of these initiatives and the “Digital Divide” could be the main reasons of this failure. In Uttarakhand, for example, less than 0.1% of BPL families were aware of RTI.

Specific Services Requiring Repeat Visits
Services some examples for which
3 or more visits were reported
Rounded percent of Users
As in-patient for getting bed 29
Electricity bill related 37
To obtain land records 23
For filing a complaint with police 46
Bill payment of water 45
Plot/House allotment 69
For getting selected/job card in NREG 56
To open new A/c in Bank/Post Office 51
For new ration card 62
TII-CMS India Corruption Study - 2007
The fact that most of the bribes were paid directly to the functionaries within the delivery set up, is an important clue because quite often the reason for repeat visits were absence of staff and their apathetic attitude. Complicated rules and procedural delays make people vulnerable to pay bribes.

Despite claims and some initiatives for the redressal of complaints in services like Police, they have not helped either in reducing perception nor experiences of BPL households. However, in School and Banking services, some dent appears to have been made.

Another interesting observation which has come out with the report is that across the whole of India, perception of corruption is much more than actual corruption, in all services assessed. This perception gap has actually increased in the last year; in spite of actual decline in corruption in some services. This has been attributed in part to the portrayal of corruption in general and in the electronic media, in particular. Repetitive coverage and hyping of corruption stories leads the public to accept corruption as a part of life. This also implies that local TV and FM can sensitize people about corruption and the need and ways to fight the menace. Enlightening people about RTI and Social Audits can be achieved with the help of media.

This report also leads one to think about that recent race among political parties to include more and more sections of society in “BPL households” category by widening the criterion of BPL. This will increase the risk of the “poorest of poor” or “hardcore BPL” families being deprived of benefit of schemes, which are supposed to have been designed for them.

Levels of Overall Corruption in States
(involving BPL households)
(arranged in alphabetical order)
States by Size Levels of corruption
AlarmingVery High HighModerate
Big AssamKarnatakaChhattisgarhAndhra Pradesh
Jammu Kashmir Tamil NaduGujaratHimachal Pradesh
Madhya PradeshJharkhandMaharashtra
Uttar PradeshKeralaPunjab
West Bengal
Small / UTsGoaMeghalayaArunachal PradeshChandigarh
TII-CMS India Corruption Study 2007

Basic Services: Purposes of paying bribe
PDS New card, for monthly quota, change address, change shop, addition
Hospital For bed, out patient, diagnostic service, medicine, ANC/PNC, operation, certificate, blood
School Education (up to class XII) New admission, certificates, attendance/ promotion, scholarship, hostel seat
Electricity New connection, meter repair, bill related, meter installation, bill adjustment, agriculture connection, ensure better supply
Water Supply Installation / maintenance of hand pump, regularization of unauthorized connection, meter installation, repair of pipe, irrigation water, supply of water tanker
Need Based Services:
NREGS Registration / to get selected, issuance of job card, wage payment
Land Records/ Registration Income certificate, obtaining land record, sale/purchase deed, mutation, land survey, caste certificate, property tax
Forest To pick fuel wood, for cutting trees, for saplings, to collect forest produce, forest land for farming, for grazing
Police For filing complaint and FIR, as an accused, remove name as witness, passport verification, verification for job, character certificate, violation of traffic laws
Housing Allotment of plot/house, release of house loan, toilet construction, ownership transfer
Banking To take loan, open new A/c, pension, withdrawal, deferment of loan installment
TII-CMS India Corruption Study - 2007

Get Updates Get SMS Updates
Add to Google Receive SMS Updates

Please comment on the article

Your Name:
Your E mail:

Abusive, inappropriate or offensive comments are likely to be edited or deleted.

Read comments

From: harishankarjha
good handling team & archive target