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Bribe Rate List

August 5, 2008

I really want to compile a rate list for bribes to be paid at various government agencies. And they really should be brought under the ambit of consumer court. After all there is money being demanded for service provided. Surely as consumers of the service, we should be eligible for better service. And perhaps the Monopolies and Restricted Trade Practices Act should also be applied since there is no other way to get work done.

Here’s a small list to start with. Will update this as I find more information. Feel free to add to this through your comments.

Noida Road Transport Authority

Getting a driving license: Rs. 1,600. You need to appear personally in the RTO office twice, once for your learner’s license and once for your driving license.

What can be better: I mean if there isn’t really going to be any test or checking, I demand that as consumers we be given home delivery service. Can they spare us the pain of actually going to the RTO office twice?

Renewing a driving license: Rs. 1,100. This is like giving shagun at a wedding.

Passport

Submitting a form: Rs. 800. Okay, I understand that there is service being provided for helping you complete the form, collecting it from your home, submitting it at the passport office and returning the receipt back to your home. However does this warrant Rs. 800 per form submitted (no discounts for submitting more than one form)?

What can be better: Surely there can be discount for submitting more than one form at a time.

Income Tax

Closing an open file: So you thought you were a law abiding, tax paying citizen when suddenly income tax notice hits you. Well you are salaried with no other income and tax deducted at source, what could possibly be the reason for getting the notice? Well you were just plain unlucky. Now it could cost you as much as Rs. 25,000 or more to get rid of the authorities. You could of course try to wear the authorities out if you have tons of documentation available.

Getting an income tax refund: Many years ago, I actually had a situation where I was entitled for a refund from the income tax authorities. And to my pleasant surprise I actually got a refund. Well, I was  in similar situation last year and am still waiting for my refund. My CA tells me that the going rate is 8% that needs to be given as bribe plus the CA’s charges. This is like eating in a restaurant and giving 10% tip on the bill.

Noida Authority

Getting a house registered: Depending on the value of the house, this could range from Rs. 30,000 to a few lakhs. I do believe there is a formula applied here too but not sure what it is.

PS: The above ‘fees’ is dated before we were hit by the current wave of inflation and interest rate increases. The fee charged now might be different.

PPS: I am sure there is a way to get your work done without paying bribes. It requires lots of patience and time on hand requiring multiple visits to the offices. Knowing the law, rules and regulations, and a few ministers personally will also help. I am in no way perpetuating the idea of giving bribes. The above piece is only meant to share information about what it could cost for getting few of the tasks done. This is akin to the various product reviews and comparison sites and posts.

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