Have you ever gotten your driving license or family card or voter’s id or any thing on time,from a government office without paying anything ?You can consider yourself lucky if you have/get any of these things without paying any money as bribe.Jharkand goverment officials are the ones who are welathier than their counterparts in the world.These leeches suck the blood not only from wealthier people but also from the downtrodden people of the state.
Jharkhand government employees do not spare even people living below poverty line (BPL) when it comes to extracting bribes. The extent of greed can be assessed from the fact that the total bribe paid by BPL families in Jharkhand in 2008 was around Rs 16 crore.
This revelation was made in the annual survey report of Transparency International India (TII). To ensure that the results of the survey holds ground at the time of any verification, TII had documented complaints of every person who paid bribe. TII project director Vineeta Singh said the amount of bribe paid to the officials was small because the affected people paid the same from their pocket.
TII executive director Anupama Jha shared the findings during the launch of `Pahal’ for improving governance in rural areas of Jharkhand. “Anyone can gauge the extent of corruption in the state by the total bribe paid by the poorest of the poor in Jharhand. In 2008, the total bribe paid by BPL households was around 16 crore,” Jha said. The number of BPL households in the state is around 25 lakh.
The finding shows that corruption was highest in basic services which are free for BPL families like health, school education and water supply. Corruption is also rampant in police department and schemes under NREGA, land record and banking.
Another surprising fact that came out during the survey was that less than 5% of BPL families were aware of Right to Information Act. Director general of state administrative training institute AK Singh, a Cabinet secretary-rank officer, admitted that most government employees accept bribes.
“`Jharkhand is perhaps the only state in the country where even ministers demand a bribe and the percentage is fixed. I have worked in Bihar but there the ministers do not fix any fixed percentage for bribe on every tender,” Singh said.
Singh referred to an incident of building construction department where he was asked to pass the estimate of a building before floating a tender when the work was over. “I was surprised when my colleagues brought the file for approval of estimate of the building which was already complete,” Singh said.