Karnataka most corrupt state for accessing public services; Himachal, Kerala the least, says survey

People in Karnataka faced corruption the most in accessing public services, a think-tank has claimed, based on its survey in 20 states.

The Centre for Media Studies (CMS) on Thursday released its 11th round of the the annual corruption study — 'CMS-India Corruption Study 2017' — in New Delhi.

According to the survey, "77 percent of respondents" in Karnataka said they experienced corruption in accessing public services.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

"This is followed by Andhra Pradesh (74 percent), Tamil Nadu (68 percent), Maharashtra (57 percent), Jammu and Kashmir (44 percent) and Punjab (42 percent)," it says.

The least corrupt states were Kerala (4 percent) and Himachal Pradesh (3 percent).

The survey was conducted over the last one year covering 20 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Punjab, and more than 3,000 households from both rural and urban areas.

It also indicated "a significant dip of 70 percent in the amount of bribe paid by citizens during 2016-17 as compared to the estimated amount in the previous round."

Nearly 43 percent of households across 20 states in India felt that the level of corruption had increased during the last one year. However, in 2005, 73 percent of households felt the same way.

The survey also revealed that people thought that the public services in which the level of corruption had increased were police, Public Distribution System (PDS), electricity and judicial services.

At the launch of the report in New Delhi, NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy said, "Big-ticket corruption is linked with electoral reforms."

The Chairman of CMS, N Bhaskara Rao, said, "We have been producing reports on corruption for many years. We wanted the NITI Aayog to take note of this, as they are the policy makers."

"In 2005, the more corrupt states were Bihar (74 percent), Jammu and Kashmir (69 percent) Odisha (60 percent), Rajashthan (59 percent) and Tamil Nadu (59 percent)," the think-tank said.

"Households have paid as low as INR 20 to get their ration in PDS shops or to get admission form from a government school and as high as around INR 50000 for admission in a government school or to get an early date for hearing of their case in a court," said the survey report.

CMS said a telephonic survey was also conducted in January on the impact of demonetisation to assess citizen's perception on the level of corruption in public services with a randomly selected sub-sample in all the 20 states.

"More than half of the respondents felt the level of corruption decreased during that period (November-December last year) while 12 percent opined that graft had increased in that period. 21 percent felt it had remained the same," the survey said.

The survey also noted that demonetisation did not have much effect on the main conclusions. This is because a major part of the reference period for the survey was before demonetisation took place.

Rao said while the level of perception of corruption has gone down, the factors associated with graft has "remained almost unchanged", which is a sad commentary on the country that has completed 70 years of its Independence.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Apr 28, 2017 11:44 AM

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