The India Corruption Study 2015 by Centre for Media Studies (CMS) revealed that every third household in the national capital has paid a bribe to get public services in the last one year. The study was conducted in keeping the perceptions and experiences in mind with regard to the public services in Delhi. It notes that corruption has come down in the city but the perception of corruption has increased among the citizens. A survey was conducted on 1,501 households in 160 localities over the last year. They were studied for their interactions with three ‘control systems’ in Delhi – the centre, the state and municipal corporations.
“Highest level of corruption is experienced in agencies controlled by the Centre, followed by the municipal corporations and then the state government,” said Dr Alok Srivastava, Director of CMS Social. During the survey, every service that was the part was given a CMS score arrived at after considering actual experiences of the perception of the general public.
The study cites highest corruption figures for public interaction with the police, with a CMS score of 21.53.
Public has also experienced high corruption in passport services, LPG and domestic cylinder purchase, all under the centre. The lower the score, the lower was the level of corruption. “The study quantifies perception and experience of paying bribes by citizens and estimates the amount paid as bribe.” according to the study.
The study shows a narrow gap in performance scores of the three government systems. The Centre suggests “nothing substantial has been done” in terms of checking the corruption on the public services.
The study states that highest amount of bribe paid during the last year was Rs.45,000 to get a building plan sanctioned. The lowest was Rs.20, to replace a LPG pipe.
The municipal corporations score high for their primary function of sanitation and garbage disposal (16.02). While state-run services fared better, the public continues to deal with corruption in procuring drivers’ license (17.51), hospitals (15.46), water supply (15.63), electricity (15.80) and school education (14.47), the report highlights. Dr N Bhaskara Rao, CMS chairman said the idea behind the study was the concern over public services not reaching the citizens. Dr Rao, however, added, “Perception vitiates corruption and the gap between the two is very wide.” Dr Srivastava said a worrying trend was refusal of services to citizens who do not pay bribes.