Bhubaneswar: When CM Naveen Patnaik has publicly stated that his administration has a zero tolerance for corruption, and when his government has launched the much-touted 5T scheme in a big way to banish corruption from the State, the shocker is in the last 12-months two in every five had to shell bribe money at state offices in order to get their legitimate work done.
Such a revealing state of corruption in Odisha was brought to the fore by a well-known organisation called Transparency international in its report titled India Corruption Survey 2019 released today.
Responding to the Survey's question of how many times you have paid bribe (directly or indirectly) to local authorities in the last one year?
A high of 20 per cent of respondents said they have to pay bribe several times to get their work done in the State government offices.
whereas, another 20 per cent of the respondents admitted that they paid bribes once or twice to get their work done.
In contrast, only 13 per cent said they could extract out their work at the State offices without paying any hush-hush money. And another 47 per cent replied to the question as not applicable.
So, overall 40 per cent respondents in Odisha said they paid bribe to local authorities during the last 1-year.
Why this happened? As per the report, the three notorious departments in Odisha that extort bribe money from the public are: Property registration & land issues, electricity board, transport office and tax offices (commercial tax & GST).
But the intriguing fact is when the State Government has first implemented 5T in police and health department and later extended it to five departments like Agriculture, Food supplies & Consumer welfare, Women & Child development and Transport department, the notorious departments like property registration and tax administration have still not been included.
The property registration & land issues department has been rated as the most corrupt department by the respondents from Odisha, the survey observed.
Significantly, these departments play spoilsport in State's ambition to climb up the ladder in Ease of Doing Business. And rampant corruption in the 2 very crucial departments is also responsible for State's low ranking in Ease of Doing Business (EoDB).