At a time when corruption hyperbole has hit India, a new survey has revealed that overall perception of corruption was on the decline. But, actual corruption in administration of government schemes has remained almost the same.
The survey 'India Corruption Study, 2010' released by Centre for Media Studies says only 45% people in 12 states believe that there was increase in corruption as compared to 70% in 2005.
The study says as many as 29% feel that corruption has decreased in government schemes as compared to just 6% in 2005.
"There is change in perception now that the RTI has empowered people in checking corruption," said Bhaskar Rao, chairperson of Centre for Media Studies.
Of the 10,000 people in rural India surveyed in 2010, just 28% admitted of paying bribe. It meant that a bribe of R481 crore was paid, amounting to R194 by each person. The money is equal to the budget of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural for 2010-11 in Assam, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra.
The states, where people reported higher incident of paying bribe, are Chhattisgarh (55%), Bihar (52%), Kerala (46%) and Mahatrashtra (40%).
When the survey narrowed down to four specific schemes — Public Distribution System, Education, Water Supply and Health in 12 states — perception about corruption has not changed much.
Around 42% feel there was corruption in PDS, another 35% said it was prevalent in schools, another 39% in water supply and 39% in availing health services, similar to results of 2005 survey.
The survey also pointed out that corruption was driving rural households away from the PDS system.
As against the government figure of 90% of off-take, the survey found the offtake was not more than 50% and it was declining every year