Corruption in Bangladesh


Corruption means committing crime and mischief to the country. It causes great harm to the countrymen. None escape from the harm of corruption. It is a social malady. It spreads its greedy clutches all over the country; each and every government sector of the country is affected by corruption. Government officials, clerks, secretaries and even ordinary peons, security officers and others are engaged in corruption. They take bribe from common people for giving any service. Our country, Bangladesh, has topped the list of corrupt countries five times. There is none to raise voice against the galloping corruption! Even the organizations that   collects data about corruption – are themselves corrupted in a very secret way! However there are many reasons behind this corruption. The greed for power, pelf, wealth and money is the root cause of corruption. Avarice, dishonesty, nepotism and favoritism are also responsible for corruption.


Statement of Problem:

This paper analysis’s the corruption in Bangladesh. I will discuss the current situation of corruption and its effect. We know that corruption is the main obstruction for development in Bangladesh. This topic is very much related to our social life for that   reasons I will try to fulfill the purpose of this research.

Objectives of Research:

It is very important  to identify the  objectives  of any research .I will describe all the objectives of  this research on corruption in Bangladesh.

The objectives of  this study are following-

(i)To explain the concept of the corruption.

(ii)To explain the present situation of corruption in Bangladesh.

(iii)To find out the effect of corruption in Bangladesh.

(iv)To focus on  the ways of combating  corruption in Bangladesh.

Research Methodology:

Methodology is very important  for any research. Without methodology it is difficult to complete a research. I have prepared this research following some methodologies. There are several approaches to research methodologies such as analytical, historical, comparative and empirical method. In this research I will following analytical method.

Sources of materials :

For my research I have collected materials from different books, journal, articles, newspapers and Internet.

Importance of the research:

The study is the great  importance; the study will help to know about Corruption in Bangladesh. Corruption is a widespread phenomenon, which undermine good governance ,erodes the the role of low. And hampers economic growth and efforts for poverty reduction. Corruption is one of the most crucial social problems that developing countries are confronting today. Bangladesh is one of the least developed countries in the world, with an approximate per-capita income of US $350. Typical of any developing country, Bangladesh suffers from over-population, poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy and lack of resources. Similarly, Bangladesh has a backward economy, political instability, and corruption at all levels of society and government. Although Bangladesh achieved independence in 1971, it didn’t begin to experience real democratic freedoms until 1991 (limited at that). The country is now run along parliamentary lines, but with low accountability and powerful governmental discretionary powers. The findings suggest that countries serious about improving governance and reducing corruption should redefine the role of government, overhaul the system of incentives, and strengthen domestic institutions to make sure the necessary checks and balances are in place. Such an approach to reform would help attract more investment—both domestic and foreign— and would accelerate economic growth and poverty reduction .Legal research is critically important for initiating reform  & change society research can initiate a new theory of verity issues challenge old one or help in clarifying existing theory the finding of research may be helpful to bring about deserve changes in existing institution.

Scope and Limitation:

 The scope of this study includes the area of information required to collect and analyze material regarding corruption in Bangladesh. The entire study will focus on the information of corruption in Bangladesh. When I do this thesis I face various problem because it is very sensitive issues .Corruption is not identifiable as a single, separate, independent entity, which can be isolated and destroyed. Corruption is a complex set of process involving human behavior and many other variables, some of which are difficult to recognize or measure that’s why the government officials are not want to provide proper information .But there are various books and article are avail able which helps me to make this thesis.

 Review of Literature:

Review of literature is very important for any research. For this research useful books and article are mentioned below:-

i . Dr. Mizanur Rahman , Human Rights And Corruption, Empowerment through Low of the common people(ELCOP),Dhaka,2007

This Books contains the following topic of corruption which are as given blew:-

Definition and forms of Corruption , Human Right and Corruption, Combating Corruption in Bangladesh ,Anti Corruption Laws.

ii.Faizul Latif Chowdhuri, Corrupt Bureaucracy And privatization of Tex,Pathak Shamabesh,Dhaka 1000.

This Books contains the following topic of corruption which are as given blew:-

What is Corruption? Types  of Corruption. How is Corruption made in impose Tex?

iii. Dr Abdullah Al Faruque, Essential of Legal Research, Palal  Prokashoni, Dhaka ,1ooo.

This Books contains the following topic which are asgiven blew:-

Context of Legal Research ,Legal language and Legal Writing ,Design and Structure of Research


Corruption is not a new phenomenon. What is new and worrying is the magnitude and size of corruption. It has spread its tentacles to every sphere of national life. It is one of the biggest threats to development. It can tear the very fabric of the society and, infect, it is doing so. Corruption benefits the rich and the well-to-do. It enriches the rich and disproportionably affects the poor, unprotected and the underprivileged and thereby it deepens their deprivation. Unless it is checked, the governments and people will have to pay a very heavy price in the consequent result of lower incomes, lower investments and lower developments resulting in volatile economic swings .In recent years, the subject of corruption has received considerable attention. Work on governance has brought it into the light and it is no longer taboo. Corruption is being addressed by financial institutions, government agencies, bilateral donors, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and development professionals. Its causes have been measured empirically, as have its impacts on human development. Institutions and administrative procedures have been overhauled. Countries have negotiated and signed international anti-corruption conventions.

Concept of Corruption

The word  “Corruption” comes  form the Latin verb “corrupts” which literally means a broken object . Conceptually, Corruption is a form of behavior , which depart form ethics, morality, tradition, laws and civil virtue.[1]

Corruption has recently been the subject of substantial theorizing and empirical research, and this has produced a bewildering array of alternative approaches, explanations, typologies and remedies. Corruption is understood as everything from the paying of bribes to civil servants and the simple theft of public purses, to a wide range of dubious economic and political practices in which businesspeople, politicians and bureaucrats enrich themselves. The issue of corruption is an old one, that has re-entered the current political and economic debate from the new interest in the role of the state in the developing world, and from the assumption that the state is an indispensable instrument for economic development, redistribution and welfare.

Definition of Corruption:

Defining corruption is important in the context of global efforts to reduce its influence in public life. But is not an easy task to define corruption. Webster Dictionary describes corruption as morality, state of being corrupted and according to the dictionary corruption means a state of decomposition, dishonest, rotten, pollute, immoral and bad. A definition has been found in a publication of the World Bank headed “VIETNAM-Combating Corruption” as “Corruption practice refers to the act of offering, giving, receiving or soliciting anything of value with the aim of influencing the action of a public official in the procurement process or the contract execution. The easy and artistic meaning of corruption may be an act s sanctity. In the administrative view, corruption has a specific meaning. If a public servant abuses power or designation or does a wrong or refrains from doing justified act with a view to fulfilling his desires or giving undue privileges to his relatives, friends or any person, such act will be considered as corruption. Professor Robert Cligaurd of South Africa gave the following equation regarding corruption:[2]

Corruption = monopoly + Discretion –Accountability – Salary.

From the above quotation it is said that if monopoly and discretionary power of government is increased and on the other hand if there is no accountability and salary is lower standard, the ultimate effect is the promotion of corruption. But in the opposite manner, if the authority of the first two elements is decreased and the authority of the last two elements is increased, corruption will be alleviated.

Corruption is a social, legal, economic and political concept enmeshed in ambiguity and consequently encouraging controversy. The ambiguity and controversy result from the fact that a number of competing approaches to understanding corruption is available. Naturally, definitions of corruption focus on one of several aspects of the phenomenon; various approaches to c corruption can be placed into five groups. These are public-interest centered, market centered, public-office-entered, public-opinion-entered and legalistic. Proponents of the public interest centered approach believe that corruption is in some way injurious to or destructive of public interest. Market centered enthusiasts suggests that norms governing public office have shifted from a mandatory pricing model to a free market model, thereby considerably changing the nature of corruption . Public centered protagonists stress the fact that misuse by incumbents of public office for private gain is corruption.11 those who believe in public opinion centered definitions of corruption emphasize the perspectives of public opinion about the conduct of politicians, government and probity of public servants. Corruption includes moral perversion; imprisonment of virtue and moral principals ;the luxury and corruption among the upper classes; moral degeneracy followed intellectual degeneration; its brothers, its opium parlors, its depravity ;Rome had fallen into moral putrefaction .Corruption includes destroying someone’s honesty and loyalty ;undermining moral integrity;‘ Corruption is a minor”; “the big city’s subversion of rural innocence . Corruption includes inducement by improper means to violates duty. “he was held on charge of corruption and racketeering. Corruption  is defined, for instants, as a preservation of power.[3]

Forms and Types of Corruption:

Forms of corruption:-

 Bribery: Bribery is the bestowing of a benefit in order to unduly influence an action or decision. It can be initiated by a person who seeks bribes or by a person who offers and pays brides. Active bribery refers to the offering or paying of the bribe, while passive bribery refers to the receiving of the bride. The “benefit” can be virtually any inducement, such as money, company shares, inside information, entertainment and employment of the mere promise of incentiveThe benefits gained can be direct or indirect. It can be described as indirect gains when the benefits flow e.g. to a friend, family, private business, campaign funds or political Parties.[4]

Source: Transparency International, Bangladesh

Embezzlement and Fraud:

These offences involve the taking or conversion of money, property or valuable items by an individual who is not entitled to them but, by virtue of his or her position or employment, has access to them. Employment-related equipment, such as motor vehicles, may be used for private purposes. Those offences do not include “theft’’ per se but only situation involving a public official or where the public interest is crucially affected.[5]


Extortion relies on coercion, such as the use or threat of violence or the exposure of damaging information, to induce cooperation. Extortion can be committed by government officials but they can also be victims of it. An example of extortion is when police officers threaten to arrest people to extract money from them.[6]

A conflict of interests:

It arises when a person, often a public sector employee or official, is influenced by personal considerations when doing his or her job. Thus, decisions are made for the wrong reasons. This kind of corruption involves, for example, engaging in transactions, selling influence, or acquiring a position that is incompatible with one’s official duties for the purpose of illegal enrichment. An example of this kind of corruption is when a public official, who has access to secret information, uses the information to take decisions concerning personal investments.

Favouritism, Nepotism and Cronyism:

Favouritism is a general term used to describe use of power to make decisions on the basis of personal relations rather then on objective grounds. There are several forms of favoritism. Among the most commonly cited are nepotism and cronyism. Nepotism applies to a situation in which a person uses his or her public power to obtain a favour for a member of his or her family. Cronyism is a broader term than nepotism, and covers situations where preferences are given to friends and colleagues and favoured political supporters. These two kinds of corruption, nepotism and cronyism, can easily overlap.[7]

Political Corruption:

Political corruption is the abuse of entrusted power by political leaders for private gain, with the objective of increasing power or private wealth. It need not involve money changing hands; it may take the form of granting favors that “poison politics and threaten democracy”. An example of political corruption is when political parties or candidates receive money in exchange for the goodwill towards the entity or group making the contribution.[8]

 Types of Corruption:

There are three broad classifications of corruption, which are however not mutually exclusive:

a) Petty and Grand corruption:

Petty Corruption: Practiced on a smaller scale. Defined as the use of public office for private benefit in the course of delivering a pubic service. Usually involves relatively small amounts of money, including bribery (grease money or speed payments) The public servant abuses his/her position by accepting a benefit for what is a routine transaction or approval. The direct victim of this abuse of power is the citizen.

Grand Corruption: The most dangerous and covert type of corruption. Instances where policy making, its design and implementation are compromised by corrupt practices. Found where public officers in high positions (such as councilors), in the process of making decisions of significant economic value, routinely demand bribes or kickbacks for ensuring that tenders or contracts are awarded to specific contractors.

b) Political and Business corruption:

Political Corruption: Occurs predominantly in developing and less developed countries. Usually associated with the electoral process. Includes:

voting irregularities

nepotism and cronyism

rule of a few

false political promises

paying journalists for favourable coverage of candidates and parties

influencing voters by the distribution of money, food and/or drink

holding on to power against the will of the people.

Business Corruption:  Often not regarded as a crime, rather as a means to accelerate business processes. Proponents claim that the end result is not affected; the mechanisms used to achieve the result are simply accelerated; In essence, bureaucracy is bypassed and time is utilized. Includes bribery, insider trading, money laundering, embezzlement, tax evasion and accounting irregularities.[9]

c) Chaotic and Organized corruption:

Chaotic Corruption: A disorganized system where there is no clarity regarding whom to bribe and how much payment should be offered. There is:

no guarantee that further bribes will not have to be paid to other officials;

no reasonable assurance that the favour will be delivered;

no coordination between the recipients of benefits, with the result

that the price of corruption is often inflated

All these distinctions have no value: no form of corruption is better or worse than another.

Organized Corruption: A well-organized system of corruption in which there is a clear idea:

of whom to bribe;

how much should be offered

and are confident that they will receive the favour in return.

Organized corruption is often perpetrated by crime gangs and syndicates and includes white-collar crime and identity theft[10]

The Causes of Corruption

Why corruption develops varies from one country to the next and there is seldom a single identifiable cause. Some of the causes which have been suggested are: poverty; poor administrative structures; weak judicial, legislative and regulatory frameworks; inadequate education; and cultural and social value systems that condone corrupt practices. Other possible causes are inadequate civil servants remuneration; too broad discretionary powers of civil servants and a lack of accountability, monitoring and transparency. It has also been argued that planned economies, where many prices are below market-clearing levels provide incentives to payoffs and so does the presence of organized crime.

It is often claimed that poverty is a very important factor in the development of corruption and that can true. It is for example, obvious that the risk of corruption in the public sector increases if the civil-service wages are so low that they do not allow public workers to support their families. If poverty was, however, the only cause of corruption it would be hard to explain the fact that most of those involved in “grand corruption” have much more than they and their families will ever need. It can therefore been argued that corruption “can emerge from wealth and abundance, or it can emerge from the lack if it”.

Other factors that may not be causes of corruption but can certainly encourage it are a low educational level which keeps the population passive and ignorant of its rights and the lack of political will to fight corruption. The motivation to remain honest may be further weakened if senior officials and political leaders use public office for private gain or of those who resist corruption lack protection.[11] There are so many reasons behind corruption. Some of the courses of corruption are mentioned below:

Poor governance: poor governance is the underling problem of our country. It creates an environment in which corruption will flourish. Because of poor governance there is no transparency or accountability of the government to the public. As such the politicians, public and private employees all get involved with corruption.

Poverty: Around 50 percent of the people of Bangladesh live under poverty line. They are unable to manage their basic needs. Honesty, morality, virtue etc are meaningless to them. They need two meals a day for them and their family. So they do not hesitate to adopt unfair means or offer bribe to fulfill their needs.

Unemployment: This is a vicious problem for Bangladesh. There are around 140 million people in Bangladesh and most of them are unemployed. It is also not possible for the government of a poor country like Bangladesh to create employment for all its peoples. The demand for jobs is much greater than its availability. So people try to get a job by offering bribe.

Lack of patriotism: patriotism is a divine virtue of human being. It is normal that every citizen would love his/her motherland. A true patriot loves his country and cannot indulge in activities like corruption. But in our country the number of patriotic people are decreasing day by day and the number of corrupted people are increasing due to lack of patriotism.

Lack in rules of law : There are hundreds of laws in Bangladesh but the proper application of law is rare. Also there are lots of ambiguous laws that need to be amended. Besides the law enforcing agencies in Bangladesh is also corrupted. All these create an environment for corruption and corruption gradually have its roof deep in the society.

Political Unrest : Poly typical unrest is a common scenario of Bangladesh science independence. The political parties in our country want to go power by any means. When they are in power, they indulge in corruption in favour their party rank and files. When the opposition parties go to power they also follow the same path and engage in corruption.

Poor remuneration : The government servants are paid very poor salaries which is barely enough to maintain their families. Although the price of essentials is going up every day their salaries are not increased in proportion to the market price. Besides, there are no arrangement for incentives for efficiency or performance. Failing to maintain there families some of them indulge in unfair means. Of course there are a segment of the government who are by nature corrupted.

Global Programmed Against Corruption:

The Global Programmed contributes through programmers and projects that identify, disseminate and apply good practices in preventing and controlling corruption and  has produced multiple technical and policy guides, including the Anti-Corruption

The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) creates the opportunity to develop a global language about corruption and a coherent implementation strategy. A multitude of international anti-corruption agreements exist, however their implementation has been uneven and only moderately successful. The UNCAC gives the global community the opportunity to address both of these weaknesses and begin establishing an effective set of benchmarks for effective anti-corruption strategies. The Global Programmed against Corruption (GPAC) is a catalyst and a resource to help countries effectively implement the provision of the UN Convention against Corruption. There are a rapidly growing number of countries that have become parties to the Convention. The primary goal of the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU)/Global Programmed against Corruption (GPAC) is to provide practical assistance and build technical capacity to implement the UNCAC and efforts will concentrate on supporting Member States in the development of anti-corruption policies and institutions. This will include the establishment of preventive anti-corruption frameworks.[12]

Corruption in Bangladesh in Socio-Economic and Political Perspective:

Political perspective;

Corruption has gradually increased in this country after the independence. Politics is one of the notable sectors that corruption has seriously invaded. There is lack of transparency in the  activities of political parties of Bangladesh. The condition reminds us one of the proverbs: “A person having no principle enters into politics”. It has become literally true in this country. Corruption is increasing here not only due to lack of transparency but also because of poor practice of democracy within the political parties. Grab power by winning votes on giving false hope to the people is the philosophy of the political parties the use of politics for personal interest by government officials, taking advantage of bad politics to adopt unfair means are the signs of corruption. If this vice has seriously invaded its political arena, the country concerned will never turn into a developed one.  Negligence in administrative jobs, failure to perform the duties properly, receiving bribe and misappropriation of government money are also the signs of corruption. Poor salary of government officials, discrimination in promotion, absence of appreciation for honesty and punishment for misdeeds also help increase in corruption and inefficiency in the administration. The political conditions and infrastructure positions of political parties of Bangladesh help in increasing corruption. Less meritorious people are actively involved in student politics and the quality of national politics has been deteriorating due to less participation of meritorious people in it. As a result, they have become corrupt in spite of leading the society. So corruption-free political parties are essentials for a fair administration Corruption has increased in the society due to inappropriate and inadequate application of law. There is no effective step to protest crime. No activities are there to protest and remove corruption in Bangladesh. It is not easy to take action against corrupt government officials. So they are being encouraged towards greater corruption.[13]

 b) Sociological perspective;

Social corruption is being spread by social organizations. Lack of trust between family members, corruption in educational institutions and involvement in different anti-social activities by social organizations increase social corruption. Social fraternity is being hampered as the social organizations are becoming increasingly corrupt. Religious belief of the people of our country is very high. The Muslims, the Buddhists, the Christians and the Hindus along with some tribes are living together here. So a large number of saints, religious scholars and mosques, temples etc., are there in this country. For this, sometimes religions can be easily misused.

Different unlawful activities in the name of religion are same as anti-social activities. Business in the name of religion, cheating people using the cover of religion, using religion for personal and party interests are among corrupt practices under the garb of religion. To cheat one and use someone in own interests are instances of personal corruption. Receiving money from others in the name of giving jobs or freeing from danger is also corruption at individual level.[14]

Economical perspective;

Corruption is still present in Bangladesh in the spheres of trade and commerce and construction of economic infrastructure and in the inclination to use politics for own interest.

Since independence, most of those who ruled the country were corrupt. The absence of honest, courageous leadership to guide a nation is the major cause of increase in corruption. The youths of the country cannot meaningfully participate in the development of the country for want of  honest and dedicated leadership.[15]

Conclusion : Corruption is a disease that has become so widespread in our society that it pervades all areas of public life. It not only threatens our economic security, it also poses a threat to our national security.

Present situation of Corruption in Bangladesh

Corruption is among the most formidable challenges against  development, democracy and rule of law. By international comparison Bangladesh has been ranked amongst the countries where corruption is perceived to highest in the world according to the Corruption Perception Index released every year by the Berlin-based Transparency International. Scoring 2.0 in a scale of 0-101 Bangladesh was ranked on top of the list for five successive years from 2001 to 2005, while it became third in 2006 and seventh in 2007. Research and surveys conducted by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) have also demonstrated the depth and breadth of corruption affecting the polity, economy and society over the years. The National Household Survey on Corruption, conducted by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) in 2005, for instance, revealed that Bangladeshi citizens had to pay Tk. 485 on an average in 2004 for receiving services from nine specific sectors. TIB’s diagnostic studies on institutions of public interest at the national level and Citizens report Cards on key sectors of public service delivery at the local level reveal the nature, extent and process of corruption at the level of specific institutions.[16]

Extent of Corruption in Different Sectors: Interaction of surveyed population with different sectors which are as given blew-

The survey reveals that households in highest proportion  (72.2%)interacted with or received services from education sector, followed by electricity (60.0%), health (44.9%) and NGOs (39.6%). Around 11% households had interactions with law enforcement agencies and the judiciary. Around one-fourth of households interacted with different institutions under land administration.

 Forms of corruption:

As earlier mentioned, the survey considered corruption in six common forms – bribery ,negligence of duties, nepotism, embezzlement, deception and extortion. The following figure presents an overview of different forms of corruption experienced by the surveyed households. Bribery and negligence of duties were the two most frequent forms of corruption experienced by the surveyed households, the two together claiming 76.9% of the total. Bribery was reportedly the single most frequent form of corruption with 38.6% of the surveyed households having such experience, followed by negligence of duties experienced by 38.3%, embezzlement by nearly 10%, nepotism by 8% and deception and extortion by 3.5 and 1.7 percent respectively.[17]

Manifestations of different forms of corruption vary among sectors. Bribery as a foremost form of corruption prevails almost in all sectors in svarying proportions. Among different forms of corruption, the distribution of bribery was found most prevalent in land administration (89.1%) followed by judiciary (78.4%), law enforcement (56.1%) and tax(53.0%).

Incidence of corruption in different sectors:

Considering all sectors 66.7% households experienced corruption during interactions with different service providers, with minimal urban-rural differentiation, although proportion of rural households who experienced corruption was slightly higher than their counterparts in urban areas – 43.8% compared to 40.2% respectively. Vulnerability to corruption has been found to vary insignificantly depending on the sex of the household head. The survey showed that 32.6% of female headed household were victims of corruption whereas 35.2% of male headed households had the same experience. Such locational and gender-neutrality of the finding suggests indiscriminately deep and wide prevalence of corruption.

Sector-wise corruption and bribery experienced by households during interaction

Source: Transparency International, Bangladesh.

In terms of specific sectors a staggering 96.6% of households who interacted with law enforcing agencies experienced corruption, followed by land administration (52.7%) and judiciary (47.7%) as the next most corrupt sectors. Nearly two-fifths of those households who had interactions in education and health services experienced corruption. In electricity, around one-third of the households experienced corruption.[18]


Overall, 42.1% of households paid bribe during their interactions for receiving different services. Vulnerability to bribery has been found to be marginally higher in rural areas (43.8%) than in urban areas (40.2%). Payment of bribes was most prevalent in law enforcing agencies with as many as 64.5% households forced to pay bribe during interaction with or receiving services from law enforcing agencies, followed by land administration (51.1%), judiciary (41.7%) and local government (32.5%). According to this study, an average Bangladeshi household paid Tk. 4,134 in a year for receiving services from different sectors. The corresponding figures for urban and rural areas are Tk. 5,174 and Tk. 3,337 respectively. The per capita bribery rate of bribes paid by an individual is estimated to be Tk. 861 per annum. Using the surveyed data it has been estimated that the total annual amount of bribe paid by the entire population in all sectors of service delivery in the surveyed period was Tk. 54.43 billion (5,443 crores).Bribery is estimated to have claimed 3.84 percent of per capita income of an average Bangladeshi citizen. The incidence of bribery and average bribe amount are found highest in land administration, claiming Tk. 16,063 billion (1,606 crores). The second and third largest collectors of bribe are law enforcement (Tk. 8.790 billion or 879 crore) and judiciary (Tk. 6.710 billion or 671 crore) respectively. The lowest amount of bribe has been claimed by the NGO sector (Tk. 204 million).[19]

Period-wise comparison of prevalence of bribery:

The survey attempted to bring out a comparative picture of prevalence of bribery during July-December 2006 and January-June 2007. As the table below shows, the results are mixed. In some sectors corruption in the form of bribery has increased, while it has decreased in some other sectors. The overall incidence of bribery is found marginally higher in July-December 2006 than January-June 2007. The incidence of bribery increased in education, health, land administration, local government and NGOs. The sectors that showed decline in incidence of bribery include law enforcement, judiciary, electricity, bank and tax. This might have happened due to anti-corruption drive by the caretaker government targeting the second group of sectors.

Sector specific overview of corruption:


72.2% households interacted with educational institutions for the education of their family members.

Irregularities in enrollment/admission;

Overall 9% students of surveyed households encountered irregularities during getting admission in all educational institutions. The corresponding figures in rural and urban areas are 9.1% and 8.6 % respectively. Students in primary education experienced highest such incidences (11.2 %).[20]

Donation or unauthorized payments transacted

Of those students, who experienced irregularities, overall 65.3% students had to pay donation or unauthorized payments for admission and they paid on average Tk. 574. In term of residence, students in urban areas made unauthorized payments almost three times higher than those of rural areas ((Tk.1149 compared to Tk.389).[21]

Corruption for receiving Upabritty:

Overall, 25.1% students of surveyed households received upabritty (sub scholarships).Among them 22.0% experienced harassment while receiving this. Harassment is most prevalent in the primary level (25.1%) followed by the secondary level (21.1 %). Of those students who experienced irregularities, 74.6% paid on average paid Tk. 90.72 as bribe/commission for scholarship.

Health Service (public sector)

Interaction with government health centers:

44.9% of surveyed households received services from different government health facilities. Proportion of households interacting with public health facilities is higher in rural areas (50.1%) than in urban areas (37.4%). Among the government health facilities, the Upazila Health Complex (UHC) serves majority of the patients (40.6%), followed by the general hospitals (25.5%) and Upa-Shastha Kendra (20.3%).

Harassment and bribery:

According to the survey, two out of five service recipients faced harassment while visiting government health facilities. 33.4% of the service recipient paid on average Tk.461 as bribe or speed money. Almost all categories of professionals and workers engaged in the health centers are involved in bribery, doctors and nurses being the major bribe takers. Among other bribe takers are the employees, ward boys and brokers. About 13.6% of surveyed households reported that doctors in Government hospitals had taken money for writing prescription during the consultations. In doing so, the doctors collected on average Tk. 95 per consultation.

 Private business by public health professionals:

22.7% service recipient from government health facilities reported that they had been advised to visit private chamber/clinic of the doctor. This phenomenon is relatively higher in urban areas, presumably for the existence of more private facilities, then rural areas.

Pathological tests:

39.5% households were asked to do pathological tests when they consulted with doctors. Among them, 55.8% household members could have the tests from government hospitals while 44.2% had to take the tests from privately-owned hospitals and clinics, nearly all of them compelled to go to specific pathological centre or clinic of the service provider’s choice. 24.6% of service recipients had to make unauthorized payments in addition to official rates. The average additional amount paid for pathological tests was Tk. 260 in government hospitals/facilities.[22]

 Land Administration:

Interaction with land administration and incidence of bribery:

25.20% of the surveyed households interacted with a land office or received services from various outfits within and administration.

Among those, 53.03% experienced bribery. On average, each of them paid Tk. 4,409.The rate of bribe was reportedly highest for allotment of Khas land, i.e., Tk.5,680 to receive allotment of Khas land, followed by land registration and mutation Tk. 4,237 and Tk. 3,303 respectively. The highest proportion of households (70.0%) experienced bribery for obtaining documents, followed by Khash land allotment (65.6%), land survey (64.7%) mutation (63.4 %) and payment of land tax (26.0%). Tahsildersinvolvement was leading for services like tax payment (77.6%), mutation (56.4%) and withdrawal of documents (36.3%). Deed writers were found in highest proportion in dealing of bribery for services like land registration (48.7%) and selling and purchase of land (80.0%). Involvement of Sub-Registrars was found highest in land registration. In cases of mutation, Assistant Commissioner’s involvement in bribery was found in highest proportion.

 Law Enforcement Agencies:

Among the surveyed households, 10.7% interacted with law enforcing agencies.

Harassment/corruption by law enforcement agencies

The survey revealed that 96.6% among the surveyed households experienced harassment and corruption during interacting with or receiving services from law enforcing agencies. Among them, the overwhelming majority of households (93.4%) had the experience of being victims of corruption. Among the victims, 62% are male and 38% female. The households reported bribery (41.5%) as the most prevalent form of corruption indulged by the law enforcement agencies. The other forms of corruption committed by law enforcing agencies include misbehavior (21.5%), threat for torture (10.7%), arrest without warrant or case (8.0%), filing of false FIR/charge sheet (6.7%) and negligence in filing cases (4.3%). Most of these harassments and irregularities were committed by the police. The joint force personnel mostly involved in misbehavior and threat of torture.

Extent of bribery

The survey found that 64.5% households who interacted with law enforcement agencies were forced to pay bribe.

Police verification or clearance certificates and avoiding arrest are the most prevalent occasions that bribes are collected by the police. On an average a household paid Tk. 3,940 during receiving services or interacting with law enforcing agencies.

 Physical torture:

The survey identified 78 households whose member(s) were arrested by law enforcing agencies. Among them 22.1% were reported to have been tortured physically while in custody. This aspect has also a gender dimension. Among the respondents 34.1% mentioned that women members of their families were harassed by members of the law enforcement agencies.[23]


 Interaction with judiciary:

10.7% households received services from judicial system during the surveyed period. Among them 46.0% were plaintiff, 51.9% were accused and the rest 2.1% werewitnesses.More than half of the cases for which the surveyed households interacted with judiciary relate to land disputes (56%). The survey revealed that among the households who received services from judiciary, majority went to the lower courts (41.7% to Magistrates courts and 49.6% to Judges Court) followed by the High Court and the Supreme Court(5.4%) and specialized courts (2.5%).

 Incidence of bribery:                  

The survey shows that 41.7% of the households who interacted with the judiciary had topay bribe for receiving services. This proportion is higher in rural areas (48.3%) than inurban areas (37.3%). The amount of was Tk. 4,825 on an average. Average amount ofbribe paid was found higher in urban households (Tk. 6,104) than in rural households (Tk3,966).

Bribery is most prevalent in judge courts with 47.6% of interacting households having to pay bribes, followed by magistrate courts in which case the ratio was 45.2%.                                   

Actors involved in bribery:

36.9% of households reportedly paid bribe to court officials, followed by middlemen (31.1%), own lawyers (10.7%), public prosecutors (10.7%), opposition lawyer (2.1%)and judges (1.2%). In most of the cases (64.3%), the households reportedly paid bribe directly unless lawyers (22.3%), court officials (5.8%) and middleman (7.6%) functioned as intermediaries.[24]

Local Government

Interaction with local government:

19% households had interactions with local government bodies. The main services the households members received from them include birth/death registration, trade license issuance and renewal, holding tax payment and VGD/VGF and old age endowment.The highest proportion of households (32%) went to local government bodies to obtain birth/death/citizenship certificates, followed by collection of fertilizer (28.8%), old age support (13.2%) and VGD/VGF cards (11.8%).

Harassment and bribery:

Harassment was reported to be the most prevalent (57%) form of irregularities experienced by households in interactions with local government bodies, followed bribery (41.8%). However, bribery was found more prevalent in urban areas than in rural areas for the services of local government. More that 60% of those who had to pay bribes did so for collection of birth/death/citizenship certificates. For other services like obtaining trade license, fertilizer and old-age allowance nearly one in ten households had to pay bribe.Average amount of bribe paid was the highest for obtaining clearance for a house building plan (Tk. 5005) followed by installation of tube well (Tk. 3120), VGF/FGD card (Tk. 840), collection of fertilizers (Tk. 828) and obtaining trade license (493). Even the senior citizens had to pay Tk. 310 on an average to avail boyoshko bhata (old-age allowance).

Salish (Informal arbitration):

About 51% of the surveyed respondents reported that they experienced irregularities during Salish administered by the Union Parishad. Such irregularities include nepotism, biased decision and bribery. Among them, nepotism is the most prominent, experienced by 43% respondents, followed by biased decision by the arbiters (34%). Incidence of bribery in arbitration was reported by 17% respondents and they had to pay on averageover Tk. 5,000.


Among the households who registered for relief, about 8% had to pay bribe for enlistment. On the other hand, 17% got enlisted through the patronage of the Chairman/Member. The households who had to be registered through bribery paid on average Tk. 399. It was also reported that among the recipient households, 42% got less than allocated amount of relief goods.[25]


Income tax:

Among the income-tax payers, 20.7% paid bribe in the process of tax payment, with the average amount of bribe estimated at Tk. 5,282. Incidence of bribery and amount of bribe was higher for urban households. Most of the households (62.5%) reported that they resorted to paying bribe in order to avoid harassment.

 Holding tax:

Overall, 14% of the surveyed households paid holding tax during the reference year, the proportion being higher in urban areas (31%). While paying the holding tax, abut 3% of the households paid bribe. The average amount of bribe annually paid by the households was Tk. 619, which is over 79% of the gross amount of tax. The single most important reason mentioned by holding tax payers for paying bribe was to reduce tax amount (41%). Over 18% households mentioned that paying bribe seemed to be mandatory.

 UP tax:

The study shows that 38% percent rural households paid Union Parishad (UP) tax. The average annual amount paid as tax was Tk. 151 whereas additional amount paid as bribe averaged at Tk. 56, which is 37% of the amount of tax. The surveyed households reported that they paid bribe in order to pay lower amount of tax, to avoid harassment, or it was imposed as mandatory.


 Credit service:

Among the borrowers, 85% received loan from government banks. Urban borrowers have comparatively higher access to private banks than their rural counterparts. Most of the loan recipients took loan for agricultural activities (64%). Among other activities where households invested money borrowed from banks are business (17%), housing (9%) and industry (6%). Government banks provided agricultural loan to 71% of their loan recipients, whereas business loan (36%) was the main financing area for private banks.

 Bribery in credit service:

Among the loan recipients, 32% had to pay bribe to get a loan. Bribery is much higher in government banks (36%) than private banks (7%). Rural borrowers had to pay bribe in higher proportions (34%) than their urban counterparts (26%).On an average, borrowers paid Tk. 5,071 as bribe while receiving loan, which was 7.6 percent of the loan amount.

Among the bribe payers, 43% reported that they paid bribe to the concerned officers of the bank, 18.1% paid bribe to branch managers, while 19.9% paid to other employees of the bank. Another 18.7 percent of the bribe payers paid bribe through brokers. Clients of government banks and rural areas had to go through middle man in greater proportions than others.

 Other banking services:

Respondents of the survey reported that they had to go to the bank to receive different services like L/C opening, regular transactions like withdrawal and deposit, bill payment, pay order, money order, and trade license, etc. While receiving these services, 22.4 percent mentioned that they were harassed. Wastage of time was the foremost type of harassment as reported by 62.1 percent of the respondents. Respondents paid Tk. 620 as bribe on an average while receiving such services. Incidence and amount of bribe is much higher in rural areas.[26]

 NGO sector

 Services provided by NGOs:

39.4% of the surveyed households took services from non-government organizations (NGOs). As high as 90% of them received micro credit from NGOs. Only 10.5% households reported to receive other services like health, education, relief, training, etc.

Bribery in micro credit:

Among micro credit receivers from NGOs, 7.5% respondents reported to have paid bribe for the service, at an average rate of Tk. 299 per transaction.[27]

Effect of Corruption in Bangladesh

Patterns of corruption vary from society to society and over time. This is Particularly the case when we consider the “South”, the “Third World” of the developing countries like Bangladesh. In order to understand the immense diversity of its origins, forms and effects across developing countries, we should examine the roles of both the internal ‘stakeholders’ in developing societies (such as politicians, business cliques and junior civil servants) as well as external actors (including western multinational companies and international financial institutions). In addition, reform strategies should take account of widely differing economic, legal and political contexts. Effective anticorruption strategies need to be tailored to the social environment in which corruption occurs. As a result of this variety in patterns of corruption, there are problems in evaluating the current diversity of corruption and anti-corruption efforts; many advocate a single universal strategy to fight corruption. I want to discuss in this article in briefly some combating corruption strategies in Bangladesh.[28]


“The corruption of government institutions threatens the common aspirations of all honest members of the international as community. It threatens our common interests in promoting political and economic stability, upholding core democratic values, ending the reign of dictators, and creating a level playing field for lawful business activities”(President George W. Bush, Statement to the Second Global Forum, The Hague, May 2001)

Corruption has a wide effect on economics,politics,administration, culture, and social life and over development of a country. When corruption and economic growth coexist in a country, pay off of corruption introduces additional costs and distortions that hit poor hard and worsen bureaucratic inefficiency (Modal: 2002). There have been claims that not everything is bad about corruption. Its effects can be positive too. Corruption, among other things, assists in capital formation; fosters entrepreneurial abilities, allows business interest to penetrate bureaucracy and permits the logic of market to insinuate itself into transactions from which public controls exclude it (Theobald,1990). But overwhelming evidence in recent decades suggests that the impact of corruption has been and continues to be negative on all fronts. Corruption has a negative, deleterious and divesting influence on investment and economic growth, administrative performance and efficiency and political development. Continuance of corruption in a country leads to economic malaise and squandering of public resources, lowers governmental performance, adversely affects general morale in the public service, jeopardizes administrative reform efforts and accountability measures, and perpetuates social and economic inequalities (UN, 1990). Corruption reinforces political instability and underdevelopment (Ouma, 1991). In short, corruption impedes economic growth, stifles entrepreneurialism, misuses scarce national resources, weakens administrative capacity, contributes to serious political decay and undermines stability, democracy and national integration.[29]

Corruption is a majored international problem that demands attention it is also the number one obstacle on the way to national development of Bangladesh. Corruption has breakout as an epidemic in every socio economic fled Bangladesh. The grip of corruption has reached even at the grass-root level. However, the major effects of corruption are discussed bellow:

Corruption deprives the poor from government services :

The greatest impact of corruption is on the poor – those less able to absorbed its cost. Illegally diversion of the scarce resource corruption undercuts government ability to provide basic services, such as health, education, public transportation or local policing to its citizens. Petty corruption provides additional cost for citizens for delivery even the most basic government activities. Moreover it can jeopardize the health and safety of citizens through, for example poorly designed infrastructure projects and scarce or outdated medical supplies.[30]

Corruption lowers investment:

Corruption increases the cost of investment and lowers the returns of investment. Investment is essential for the socio- economic development of the country. The Reduced level of investment retards economic growth and thus hampers national development.

 Corruption hampers government activities:

Corruption like bribery, embezzlement, negligence in duties, nepotism etc reduces the efficiency and competency of the concerned government officials. This in turn slow downs the normal speed of government activities.

Corruption destroys the morality:

Wholesale corruption destroys the moral base of the people. The citizens forget about their duties and responsibilities their motherland. They only think about their personal gain and benefit, which damages the natural qualities of the people.

4.2.5Corruption is wastage of public money: Corruption is rampant in Bangladeshs. In a poor country like Bangladesh the effect of corruption is devastating. A large amount of the founds allocated for various development programmers is wasted because of corruption.[31]


Corruption is a complex multi-faceted social phenomenon with innumerable manifestations. It takes place as an outcome of deficiencies in the existing public administration apparatuses and systems as well as cultural, economic, political and social factors. Differences of opinion still exist as to the meaning of the term corruption. This is primarily because individuals look at corruption from their own vantage points influenced by surrounding environment. But what is heartening is that in recent years corruption is viewed from a much broader perspective rather than looking at it from moral and functional angles only. The causes of corruption are as varied as the phenomenon itself. Corruption results from the presence of a number of factors. There are many forms of corruption. To understand the dynamics of so many types of corruption attempts have been made to classify different forms of corruption into broad categories. What transpires from such a categorization is that outsiders can sponsor corruption resultant of political scandal, institutionalized and administrative malfeasance. Thes government needs a well-coordinated, well-understood overall strategy that limits opportunities for abuse of public office, increases the likelihood that individuals will be able to profit from corrupt acts, whether they are giving and receiving bribes. Moreover, the civil societies of the country should come forward to establish the right of the people and to ensure the rule of law in Bangladesh. The professionals, the intellectuals through meetings and sittings, attending and participating the seminars and symposium and writing and contributing to the media can raise a general awareness to build up a corruption-free prosperous Bangladesh in future


  1. Law Enforcement Institutions

• Implement the Police Reform Project without delay. Strengthen checks and balances in the use of authority of law enforcement.

• Major reforms are needed to ensure accountability and professionalism in law enforcement institutions and ethical standards

• Address the issues of salaries and benefits, resources including logistical capacity, training and skill development including training on human rights and behavioral change.

• Proactive disclosure of information on activities, budgets, resources of the Svarious law enforcement agencies.

Conclution: There is no doubt that corruption is an immense problem. We all should try to control it. To  control this spreading vice we may adopt some measures. Responsibility alone does not lie with the government for controlling corruption. Everyone should be conscious about its ill effects. Everyone should take oath that he or she would remain free from corruption. All the political leaders and workers should promise to lead a corruption-free life. Because, self-correction is the first step for prevention for prevention of corruption. Prevention of corruption should be included in the manifestoes of the political parties and this motto should form part of the a culture in regular activities of all political parties. It should be treated as a social disease. All the parties should try to increase awareness about the need for prevention of corruption by them and among them. Honest and sincere persons should be given the opportunity for providing leadership.

The examples of morality, social service, knowledge and wisdom of corruption-free men and women should be included in the curricula in all phases of education. Corruption is unfair and it is harmful to the society — this learning should be implanted in the mind of students. In this regard, religious education should be given priority. Corruption-free administration is vital for eradication of corruption. If the administration is not free from this vice, it is not possible to eliminate it from the society. A good administration depends on the honesty and sincerity of the employees. So honest and sincere employees should be appointed to ensure corruption-free government. Effective measures should be taken to prevent their moral erosion.



  1.  Rahman, Mizanur,Dr, November,(2007),Human Right and Corruption, Palal Prokashoni,Aziz Market,Shahbag,Dhaka.

2.    Faruque, Abdullah Al, Dr,July,(2010) Essential of Legal Research, Palal  Prokashoni Dhaka -1ooo.

3.    Ann, Kimberly,June ,(1997) Corruption and Global Economy , editor ,Institute for International Economics,Washington.DC.

4.    Latif,Faizul,Feb(2006)Corrupt Bureaucracy And Privatization of Tex, Pathak  Shamabesh,27 ,Aziz Market,Dhaka – 1000


1.    Arjun  Sengupta,  Human Rights and Development, Article on -The Right to Development as a Human Right, Published in 2002, Published By ELCOP.

2.    Md. Akhteruzzaman, Human Rights and Corruption, Article on Combating Corruption in Bangladesh: A Legal Stady, Published in 2007, Published By ELCOP.

3.    Shafiqur Rahman Khan, Human Rights and Corruption, Article on International Law against Corruption, Published in 2007, Published By ELCOP.

4.    Dr A.K.M.Masudul Haque, Human Rights and Corruption, Article on  Law ,Devolopment And  Corruption in Bangladesh, Published in 2007, Published By ELCOP.

5.    Dr Md.Johurul Islam , Human Rights and Corruption, Article on   Allavating Corruption  in Bangladesh : An Agenda for Good Governance, Published in 2007, Published By ELCOP


  1., Last Accessed on 03.11.2012.
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      5.www.unodc.orga/unodc/en/corruption.Accessed on 12.02.2012

       6.www.isn.ethz,ch Accessed on 25.02.2012

Corruption in Bangladesh

Article copy-written by : Asad Saimon