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Oct 11, 2017 05:54 PM IST | Source:

DATA STORY: Indian households paid Rs 6,350 cr in bribes this year, 67% less than 2005

Around one-third of the households experienced corruption in public services at least once during the last one year.

Anupa Kujur @AnupaSagarKujur

The Indian households paid 67 percent less bribe in 2017 compared to the amount given as bribe in 2005, according to the 2017 CMS-India Corruption Study (CMS-ICS).

The total amount paid as bribe in 10 public services considered for the study by the households was estimated about Rs 6,350 crore in 2017 as against Rs 20,500 crore in 2005, according to the 11th annual CMS-ICS report.

The significant dip in the total amount paid as bribe could be attributed to various reasons such as a lesser percentage of households reported paying a bribe, use of ICT/ online services, more active citizenry and role of media and social media in highlighting corrupt practices.

CMS captures peoples’ Perception (P) and Experience (E) with Public Services and further Estimates (E) the amount paid as bribe to avail those services from 150 households in each of the 20 states during the previous one year.

Around one-third of the households experienced corruption in public services at least once during the last one year.

Of the 3,000 households surveyed across 20 states, over 1000 households or 33 percent, experienced corruption while 53 percent households reported corruption experiences in 2005.

Source: CMS-ICS 2017.

Among the various public services, the highest percentage of households reported experiencing corruption was in Police services at 34 percent, followed by Land/Housing at 24 percent, Judicial services at 18 percent and Tax at 15 percent.

In most of the states, the bribe amount ranges between Rs 100-500, however, the report says that bribe amount of Rs 10, as well as Rs 50,000, were also paid by households in a year for availing one or the other public services.

The highest amount (Rs 50,000) was paid in a school ‘for admission’ in Maharashtra, while the least amount (Rs 10) paid was ‘to take loan application form’ in Jharkhand.

experinece of households

With 77 percent households experiencing corruption, Karnataka recorded the highest corruption in public services during last one year.  It was closely followed by Andhra Pradesh at 74 percent, Tamil Nadu at 68 percent, and Maharashtra at 57 percent. Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab experienced 44 percent and 42 percent corruption, respectively.

While in 2005 round, the percentage of households reporting so were Bihar with 74 percent, Jammu & Kashmir at 69 percent, Odisha at 60 percent, with Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu at 59 percent.

In terms of perception about the increase in corruption in public services, Odisha recorded the highest percentage of 68 percent. Odisha was followed by Karnataka at 65 percent, Jharkhand at 59 percent, Bihar and Chhattisgarh at 59 percent and 56 percent.

In states like Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Assam more than half of the respondents opined that level of corruption has remained same or unchanged during the last one year.

The overall perception of the citizens about the increase in corruption level at public services reflected a steep declined by 30 percent. In 2017, over 43 percent citizens perceived that the corruption has increased, which was 73 percent in 2005.


After demonetisation, more than half feel that level of corruption decreased between November-December while 12 percent were of the opinion that corruption increased. About 21 percent feel it had remained same and around 11 percent did not hold any opinion.

The figures were collected by a telephonic survey with a randomly selected sub-sample of households in all 20 states post demonetisation phase in January 2017.

However, the perceived increase in corruption differs among all the public services. Perception about the increase in the level of corruption in a particular public service during last one year was highest in Police service with 32 percent, followed by public distribution services (PDS) at 29 percent, Electricity at 27 percent and Judicial services at 26 percent.

public services

The key reasons for paying a bribe in all the states fall under the broad categories of procedural, documentation related, payment evasion and dependency on a service provider. These reasons have remained same between 2005 and 2007.


In 2017, about 76 percent of the households paid a bribe to rebate taxes. On an average, the households paid Rs 3,816 last year.

Over 71 percent of the households paid a bribe to take a loan, under the banking services which saw the maximum interaction of 75 percent with the households. On an average, they paid about Rs 1,000 in a year.

On an average, the maximum amount in 2016 went up to Rs 5,363 for the purchase of land, stamp paper, obtaining land and property documents. It was followed by a bribe paid to receive a certified copy of the order with Rs 4,002 on an average by the households.

CMS believes that the dependency on the public services continues to be high, thus, it considers the interaction level of the households with public services while listing the ones for the study.

Source: CMS-ICS 2017.

In terms of interaction, the households interacted the most with Banking services (75 percent), followed by PDS (74 percent), Public health/hospital (72 percent) and Electricity (70 percent).

The 2017 report shows a declining trend in the perception about the increase in the level of corruption.

Source: CMS-ICS 2017.

While perception about corruption in most of the public services has shown a dip during the last 10-12 years, services like housing, police, Judicial services and housing/land records, have shown a significant change in people’s perception.

Similarly, corruption involving citizen in availing critical public services has come down in 2017 across public services, including in the case of Police and Judicial services.
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