BPL families pay Rs 3,000 m in bribe for basic services: Survey

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New Delhi, Jun 28 (UNI) Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in India cough up a massive Rs 3000 million in bribes to avail basic services, a Transparency International survey released by the Vic-President Hamid Ansari here today has claimed.

According to the Transparency International (India)-Centre for Media Studies Corruption Study Report, 2007, police tops the chart as far as corruption in 11 selected public services -- part of the survey -- are concerned. ''Of the 5.6 million BPL households that interacted with police last year, a whopping 2.5 million paid Rs 2,150 million as bribe for some work or the other. Most of these households interacted with police for simple registration of a complaint,'' the survey noted.

The second highest in terms of monetary contribution among 11 selected public services is land records and registeration services.

Nearly 3.5 million BPL households paid Rs 1,224 million as bribe.

Releasing the report, Mr Ansari said, ''There was always an air of expectation about annual reports. Sometimes they add to our knowledge, at others reiterate the evident. The contents, again, may cause delight or dismay, or, occasionally, a bit of both. The India Corruption Study 2007 falls in the latter category. The good news is that inch by inch, year by year, there is greater transparency about the way we are governed. The bad part is that the level and extent of misgovernance is horrifying in legal and moral terms.'' ''The report'' he claimed ''suggested that the benefits of recent steps taken to improve delivery of public services have not substantially percolated down to the poor as yet.'' ''It is thus evident that our stated resolve to usher in inclusive growth that covers all the marginalised and vulnerable sections of the society is frustrated by corruption that hinders access to basic services. Corruption in our country has become pervasive and cancerous and is multi-dimensional. Today's report highlights this in ample measure.'' He said delineating a problem is one aspect; finding correctives and outlining an action plan for their implementation was far more difficult. ''I am confident that both the government and the civil society would take the study and the suggested correctives seriously. An old maxim states that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. In today's world, it is also insurance for proper governance. In the final analysis, good governance involves meaningful response to the public's desire for clear, effective, and transparent governance,'' he added.

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