46% citizens of West Bengal paid a bribe in the last 1 year
- • Policing is now the top area of corruption in West Bengal
28th November 2019, New Delhi: LocalCircles in collaboration with Transparency International India has concluded India Corruption Survey 2019 to ascertain the level of domestic corruption in the country and gather citizen pulse on corruption. This survey is being conducted third year in a row and has been compiled in this comprehensive report called the ‘India Corruption Survey 2019’. Over 190,000 responses were received from over 81,000 unique citizens.
The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2018 was hailed as a force that would deter the Government employees from indulging in bribery. Looks like it is starting to show some effects, as is evident from the numbers from this year’s survey. India’s ranking in the Corruption Perception Index 2018 released by Transparency International, has improved 3 places compared to last year and we now stand at 78th position out of 180 countries.
The survey was also conducted on a state level where over 2500 votes were received from West Bengal. 46% citizens of West Bengal who participated in the survey admitted to paying a bribe to get their work done, out of which 36% gave bribes several times (directly or indirectly) while 10% paid bribes once or twice (directly or indirectly). 18% said they got work done without paying a bribe and 36% did not have a need to pay a bribe.
46% citizens of West Bengal paid a bribe in last 1 year
This number stood at 43% last year, showing a slight rise in cases of corruption in the state in the last 12 months.
Percentage of citizens of West Bengal that paid a bribe to local authorities increased in 2019
In terms of authority to which residents of West Bengal gave bribes, 17% gave bribes to property registration and land issues while 21% paid off the Municipal Corporation. 45% paid a bribe to the police and 17% paid bribes to others (Electricity Board, Transport Office, Tax Office, etc.)
Bribes to Police top area of corruption in West Bengal
When compared with last year, the cases of police corruption have risen many folds from 8% to 45% this year.
Policing is now the top area of corruption in West Bengal
Government data on corruption cases
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is a nodal governmental agency responsible for collecting and analysing crime since 1986. As per NCRB’s “Crime in India 2017” report, number of corruption cases registered under Prevention of Corruption Act & related Sections of IPC in West Bengal was 2015-18, 2016-16 & 2017-15.
The Lokayukta is an apex anti-corruption ombudsman type organization in the Indian states. Currently, Justice Ashim Kumar Roy is Lokayukta.
Vigilance Wing of State Government
The Vigilance Department is the arm of the government entrusted with the task of eradicating corruption and upholding the purity of administration. West Bengal has a State Vigilance Commission.
Other National Poll Results
According to the Prevention of Corruption Act 2018, giving a bribe is an offence with up to 7 years of imprisonment or fine or both. In the first question, 24% citizens admitted to giving bribes several times in the last 12 months and 27% admitted to paying bribes once or twice. 16% said they always managed to get work done without paying a bribe while 33% said they did not have a need.
Cash is still the primary mode used to pay bribes with 35% saying they paid cash as bribes in the last 12 months to get their work done. 30% said they paid indirectly through an agent and 6% said they paid in form of gifts or other favors. 29% said they did not have a need to pay bribes.
When asked in Government offices where they paid a bribe in the last 12 months how was the working of that office, 16% said it was computerised and had functional CCTVs in place, 28% said it was computerised but had no/defunct CCTVs in place while 19% said it was an all paper office. 37% said they did not need to pay a bribe.
38% citizens said that they paid a bribe as it was the only way to get work done while 26% said it would have taken a long time and effort without a bribe. 37% said they did not have to pay a bribe.
6% in the following poll said that steps have been taken by their state Government or local administration to reduce corruption in the last 12 months and they have been effective while 34% said some steps have been taken but they have largely been ineffective. 48% said no steps have been taken at all.
Last year, the central Government identified some staff in the Finance Ministry who had corruption charges against them and relieved them of their duty. It did the same this year in CBIC and CBDT, hence setting a precedence that corruption in Government departments will not be tolerated. It is imperative that various state Governments follow suit and the coloured employees are separated from the chain. Property registration & land issues turned out to be the largest authority where citizens had to pay a bribe, with 26% citizens voting for it. 19% said police, 13% said municipal corporation, 3% said electricity board, 13% said transport office, 8% said tax department and 5% said water department. 13% said they paid a bribe to other authorities.
17% citizens believe bribery in tax-related matters has reduced in the last 12 months while 6% said it has increased. 38% said it is continuing like before and 33% said they did not have a need to pay a bribe.
Only 12% citizens believe bribery in property registration and land issues has reduced in the last 12 months. 49% said bribery is continuing like before and 8% said it has increased. 9% said they did not need to pay a bribe.
When it came to demanding of bribes for work related to the municipality or local bodies, 10% citizens said it has reduced while 44% said it is continuing like before. 13% said bribery has increased and another 13% said they did not need to pay a bribe in the last year.
19% citizens said they believe bribery in RTO related matters has reduced while 37% said it is the same as before. 9% said it has increased while 14% said they did not have a need to pay a bribe.
11% said bribery to police has reduced while 11% said it has increased. 42% said it is the same as before. 20% did not have a need to pay a bribe.
Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Kerala, Goa and Odisha turned out to be the states where citizens reported low instances of corruption, while Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Punjab were the states where citizens reported higher instances of corruption
LocalCircles and Transparency International India together, host India’s Online Anti-Corruption Community ‘Together Against Corruption’ which is the largest platform in the country to discuss any and every form of corruption that citizens of India come across. Anyone facing a corruption issue or knowledgeable about how to handle corruption can access the community at http://bit.ly/fight-corruption-together.