Half of MP residents had to bribe their way through bureaucratic maze: Survey

Registration and Stamps – a completely computerised department – accounts for 60% of the complaints in the last 12 months

Bhopal: Half of the Madhya Pradesh residents had to bribe officials get their work done in the past 12 months, said a survey conducted by Local circles and Transparency International India. The survey findings may dent the BJP’s ‘Sushasan’ image further in the poll-bound state.

The Congress has been alleging that the state government has scripted a series of scams, including VYAPAM, illegal sand mining, online tendering, onion purchase and plantation scams, worth several thousands of crores of rupees.

According to the survey report, of the 50 per cent who had to pay bribe, 20 per cent had to pay it many times and 30 per cent had to pay it once or twice. Sixty per cent of the complaints pertained to Registration and Stamps and Revenue Departments, followed by electricity board, transport office, and local bodies.

E-Governance

In Madhya Pradesh the Registration and Stamps Department is touted as the first model of complete e-governance, with 100 per cent cashless transactions in electronic format. The property registrations are done using e-stamps, through an online system implemented in 2015.

The survey said that cash was still the most preferred mode of bribery, with around 39 per cent opting for it. This was followed by bribes through agents (25 per cent) and bribes in kind (one per cent). Police authorities have been paid the most bribes by the citizens in the last year (25 per cent), followed by municipal corporations, property registrations and other authorities (electricity board, transport office etc).

CCTV cameras

Installation of CCTVs cameras has been a deterrent for the offenders, with only 13 per cent of the surveyed citizens paying bribes in government offices which had CCTVs installed. Only 34 per cent of the citizens said that the government had taken steps to curb corruption.

Bribe-giving is an offence

Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018 has made bribe-giving an offence, punishable with seven years of imprisonment or fine or both. But it was shocking that 23 per cent of the respondents said that they will continue giving bribes to get their work done because they doubt that the provision would be implemented.

Out of the 15 states of India in which the survey was conducted, Haryana turned out to be the least corrupt, with only 19 per cent residents paying bribe, followed by Bihar and Kerala. On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh was the most corrupt with 59 per cent admitting to having paid bribe, followed by Punjab and Tamil Nadu.

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Prabhatesh Tripathi

Principal Correspondent dbpost covering, political and policy affairs in Madhya Pradesh