Graft declines 28pc in 2 yrs

Awareness, digitisation lead to the reduction, but bribe rates double due to high inflation

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Chairperson Sultana Kamal addresses a press conference TIB organised in the capital's Cirdap Auditorium to reveal its bi-annual “Corruption in Service Sector: National Households Survey 2012”. On her left is TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman.

Except for health sector, corruption in other public and private service sectors has come down by 28.4 percent in the last two years although bribe rate has doubled during the same period, a TIB survey shows.

The bi-annual survey report of the anti-graft watchdog attributed this significant fall in corruption rate to public awareness, digitisation of some public offices and anti-corruption training for government officials.

Bribe rate, on the other hand, has gone up mainly because of high inflation, which hovered around 8-11 percent over the last two years.

The Transparency International Bangladesh published the report at a press conference at Cirdap auditorium in the capital yesterday where TIB Chairperson Sultana Kamal and Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman were present, among others.

In public and private service sectors, 84.2 percent service seekers, who were surveyed by the TIB in 2010, fell victim to corruption. The number dropped to 55.8 percent in the 2012 survey.

The rate in health sector jumped to 40.2 percent in this year's survey from 33.2 percent two years ago.

During the same period, bribe rate rose to Tk 6,100 from Tk 3,184 per household, according to the survey done between May 2011 and April 2012.

A household had to pay on an average Tk 13,084 in bribe for receiving service during the period.

Victim households paid Tk 21,955 crore in bribe in 2012 which constitutes 13.6 percent of the national budget and 2.4 percent of the GDP. The amount was 9,591 crore in 2010 which constituted 8.7 percent of the national budget and 1.4 percent of the GDP.

The number of households in the country is 3.18 crore, according to the report.

The TIB has been doing such survey since 1997.

This year's survey titled “Corruption in Service Sector: National Households Survey 2012” was conducted on 7,554 households selected by using a three-stage stratified systematic sampling from rural and urban areas of all the 64 districts.

The households shared their experience of 13 service sectors — labour migration, law enforcement agencies, land administration, judiciary, health, education, local government, agriculture, power, tax, banking, insurance and non-government organisations.

Labour migration tops the list in corruption rate.

The survey found on average 77 percent service seekers fell victim to bribery in labour migration, 75.8 percent by law enforcers, 59 percent in land administration, 57.1 percent in judiciary, 40.2 percent in health and 40.1 percent in education.

Due to bribery and irregularities, a household has to count Tk 1,99,676 for labour migration, Tk 7,080 for law enforces, Tk 7,807 in land sector, Tk 11,711 in judiciary, Tk 258 in health and Tk 100 in education.

TIB Chairperson Sultana Kamal said over fifty percent people seek help from middlemen instead of going for themselves to the service providing institutes. This proves that the institutions do not provide service in a proper way.

“A sense of frustration prevails among people in such a situation,” she added.

Source:The Daily Star