UP among most corrupt states for BPL beneficiaries

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Lucknow, Sep 10: Uttar Pradesh has emerged as one of the five most corrupt states in the country where people, mostly those Below Poverty Line(BPL), are forced to cough up money to get basic amenities which otherwise are provided free of cost.

UP is bracketed with Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir as the big states where corruption level is 'alarmingly high'.

On the contrary, states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and West Bengal are 'moderately corrupt' states where the corruption is found to be the lowest.

A survey, conducted by 'Transparency International-India', a Berlin-based anti-graft watchdog and the Centre for Media Studies in New Delhi, for the first time released the list of country's most and least corrupt states. The survey put states into four categories -- alarmingly corrupt, very highly corrupt, highly corrupt and moderately corrupt.

According to survey findings, nearly Rs 883 crore was paid as bribe by BPL families to avail of public services like getting a ration card as well as addmissions to schools. Of the entire bribe money, Rs 214.8 crore was paid to the police.

The survey focussed on the fact whether BPL persons were satisfied with the delivery system of 11 basic services including PDS, health, school education, electricity, water supply, NREGS, local record registration, forest, housing, banking and police.

The methodology of the study involved household level sample survey and exit interviews at service delivery outlets.

Survey covered 22,728 randomly selected BPL households across the state and they were questioned to ascertain the most unhappy and exploited lot. The survey was conducted between November, 2007 and January, 2008.

The survey found that the police department topped the corruption chart, followed by others like forest, land records/registration and housing departments. Electricity, banking, education, water supply and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme under the other corrupt services.

''About one-third of the BPL families pay bribes to avail one or more of the 11 public services covered in the study which shows that the poor are not spared even in the case of targeted programmes,'' the study said.

Branding police department as the most corrupt, the study found that at least 48 per cent of BPL families paid money to police personnel at one time or the other in the last one year while just 4.8 per cent families paid bribes for school education.

''Around two per cent of BPL families in the state cannot avail PDS, school or electricity services as they do not have money to pay the bribe. About four per cent BPL households cannot avail land records/registration, NREGS, housing and police services for the same reason,'' the study further said.

Secretary (Transparency India, Uttar Pradesh chapter) Uma Shanker Pandey said the survey was a part of efforts by Transparency International-India to reduce corruption by promoting and supporting transparent and ethical practices in the government sector.


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