‘One-third of Delhi households paid bribe last year’

Nearly half of Delhi’s respondents in a survey on corruption said it had decreased in the State government, but a third of households reported having had to pay a bribe in the last 12 months. Respondents felt that corruption in the distribution of LPG had increased the most, while the police was the agency most likely to require a bribe.

Conducted by CMS Transparency, the corruption and transparency-focussed wing of the research and polling agency CMS, over July and August, the 15 specific public services that respondents were asked about were split in administrative terms between municipal, State and Central governments. But many respondents had an unclear notion of the precise ambit of each level of government, the agency said.

Among all public services, the police fared the worst, followed closely by the department of permit, particularly hawking permits; one in three households reported paying a bribe to these two agencies in the last year. For the police, the top three reasons for which a bribe was demanded were for putting up a vending unit, getting a complaint or FIR registered and for driving a commercial vehicle without proper licence. Corruption in the issuing of driving licences came next, with close to one in 10 respondents saying being unable to pay a bribe for a driver’s licence had resulted in their failure to obtain one.

A third of respondents reported having had to pay a bribe in the last 12 months. The experience of corruption rose among poorer respondents.

With the average household having paid a bribe of Rs. 2,500 in the last year, CMS estimated that Delhi alone paid Rs. 239 crore in bribes last year. Only six of the 1,501 households had sent an audio or video clip, a method of complaint popularised by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Just 1.3 per cent had called the anti-corruption helpline.

Among the different types of public services, the largest perception of increase in corruption was for LPG, followed by electricity and water supply. While the distribution of LPG comes under the Central government, electricity and water come under the State government.

The findings are based on a sample survey of 1,501 Delhi households. The sample was representative in socio-economic and geographic terms, the agency said.

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Printable version | Oct 15, 2021 11:38:41 AM |

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