1 in 3 poor Indians pay bribes for basic services

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New Delhi, Jun 30: Over 40 per cent of Below Poverty Line families living in India who approached police or land and housing department paid bribe or used a ''contact'' to get their work done, a new survey by Transparency International (India) and Centre for Media Studies has claimed.

The survey, released by Vice-President M Hamid Ansari here, revealed that a total bribe of Rs 8,830 million was paid to 11 services covered in the study. ''School education (up to class XII and government schools), among the 11 services studied, stands last in the ranking that is the level of corruption is the lowest among all. But when one looks at this service individually, it is also entrenched with some corruption involving BPL households. That police service stood number one corroborates the general impression.

The Land Records/Registration and House/Plot, which are specially tailored for BPL households, stand at two and three in the rank is a matter of concern,'' said the survey.

''While the level and extent of corruption in police service was high in all states, as if it is universal -- the ranks of other services show variations across the states. Given the nature of need based services which are monopolistic or involve asset creation or volume, these services ranked high on corruption as compared to basic services,'' it added.

The TII-CMS survey puts police as the most corrupt service. It is followed by Land Records/ Registration; Housing; Water Supply Service; NREGS; Forest; Electricity; Health; PDS; Banking and School Education (up to class XII) respectively.

The TII-CMS India Corruption Study 2007, brings out that corruption involving citizens including BPL households, is all pervasive across the states and public services. No State or service is anywhere near ''zero corruption'' level.

UNI

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