New Delhi: A survey conducted by a private think tank has ranked Karnataka India’s most corrupt state. Its findings were announced on Thursday.
The CMS-India Corruption Study said more than 33% of households in the state believe the state government is “not at all committed” to reducing graft.
Among the households surveyed, 77% said they had to pay bribes for public services, signalling an increase of corruption in the state.
Karnataka had emerged less corrupt, with 57% reporting bribe-giving, in a similar study in 2005.
Bihar was then dubbed the most corrupt state with a score of 74%.
The findings are part of a report prepared by the Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies, on the basis of detailed surveys conducted in urban and rural areas of 20 states from October to November 2016 and January this year.
Overall, the report said, there was a “definite decline” in both perception and experience of citizens when it came to corruption in public services. While 43% felt the level of corruption in public services had increased over the past year, the corresponding number was 73% in 2005.
According to the report, bribes paid by households across the country added up to about Rs 6,350 crore this time, as against Rs 20,500 crore in 2005.
However, almost all households, across 20 states, had no option but to pay when they were asked for bribes by public servants, the survey said.
On an average, a household in India pays about Rs 1,840 in bribes in a year.
In its league, Karnataka has for company neighbours Andhra Pradesh (74%), Tamil Nadu (68%) and Maharashtra (57%).
If Karnataka is ranked the worst on “experiencing corruption in public services”, Himachal Pradesh earned laurels with just 3% households saying they had to pay bribes. Kerala (4%) and Chhattisgarh (13%) were also among the least corrupt.
In terms of perception of rising corruption, Odisha (68%), followed by Karnataka (65%), Jharkhand (59%), Bihar (59%) and Chhattisgarh (56%) emerged on the top.