The Department of Immigration and Passport is the most corrupt services sector in the country, says a new household survey of the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB). The survey reveals that about 78 percent of people have to pay bribe for service from the Passports Department, followed by 75 percent from law enforcement agencies, 61 percent from education sector, about 60 percent from the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), about 53 percent from the land administration, 48 percent from the judiciary and 38 percent from the health sector. Dhaka, UNB News Agency Reported.
The findings of the survey, tilted ‘Corruption in Service Sector: National Household Survey 2015’ was unveiled at a press conference at TIB head office in the capital on Wednesday. TIB senior programme manager Md Wahidul Alam, programme manager Farhana Rahman and deputy programme manager Mohammad Nurea Alam jointly unveiled the survey findings.
TIB trustee board chairperson Sultana Kamal, its executive director Dr Iftekharuzzaman, deputy executive director Dr Sumaiya Khair and director (research and policy) Mohammad Rafique Hassan were present at the press conference. The TIB’s National Household Survey 2015 shows that about 68 percent households of the country had been the victims of corruption while availing of services and 58 percent of them had to bribe officials in this regard. Every household, on average, has to pay a bribe of Tk 4,538 annually.
It reveals that an amount of Tk 8,821.8 crore was exchanged as bribe in service sectors in 2015, which was 0.6 percent of the country’s GDP in fiscal 2014-15 and 3.7 percent of revised budget of the same fiscal. Although the corruption scenario and rate of harassment remain the same in services sectors, the survey says, the service-receiving households paid Tk 1500 crore in 2015 more than that of 2012 in bribe. About the reasons of the corruption, about 71 percent respondents of the survey replied that if they had not paid the bribe they would not have got the expected service.
The household survey was conducted during November 2014 to October 2015 covering a total of 15,840 households from both rural and urban areas. About 15 service sectors were brought under the study. The survey results show that the adverse impact of graft in service sectors is higher in rural areas than that of urban areas. And the same way, the rate of paying bribe for receiving service is higher in rural areas than urban areas.
TIB trustee board chairperson Sultana Kamal said general people do not get service without bribe from the people responsible to provide it, and they do not perform their duty properly. As a result, general people, particularly the poor, are being badly affected, she added. “It’s quite impossible to get service without bribe,” Dr Iftekharuzzaman said stressing the need for bringing corrupt people to justice, ensuring a strong political commitment to fight graft and implementing the National Integrity Strategy.