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Under the table fees burden businesses

Sixty three percent of enterprises said they always have to pay under the table fee to state officials in order to expedite their administrative procedures.

VietNamNet Bridge – Sixty three percent of enterprises said they always have to pay under the table fee to state officials in order to expedite their administrative procedures.

The government inspectors and the World Bank have held a press conference releasing the result of the social survey on embezzlement. The survey has found out that most businesses have to pave their way with underground fees and gifts to state officials.

The survey was conducted in February – April of 2012 on 2601 people, 1058 enterprises in 10 provinces and cities, including Hanoi and HCM City, and 1901 officials from five ministries.

Envelops and gifts make businesses’ success

Money and gifts have become the popular means for enterprises and people to expedite their works when they have to deal with state officials.

The polled enterprises and people said that state officials always put difficulties for them, which force them to give bribery in order to have the works done more quickly.

Businessmen not only have to pay underground fees on the spot, but they also have to maintain long term relations with state officials by giving gifts regularly on special occasions.

Inspectors have found out that 63 percent of businesses said state officials deliberately drag out works, while 29 percent of people said they give briberies because if they don’t, their works cannot go smoothly.

Among the polled state officials, 22 percent of officials said they once saw their colleagues deliberately putting big difficulties for businessmen and people to clamor for underground fees.

37 percent of people said they would give money immediately if they get troubles at state agencies, while 59 percent of businesses said they would only give briberies if they do not have other choices to have their works fulfilled.

Paying unofficial fees to expedite works has become a popular unwritten rule in the Vietnamese community. 63 percent of enterprises and 53 percent of people have confirmed this.

Giving briberies make business worse

It seems that underground fee and presents to state officials can help lubricate the governments, thus helping speed up the process of dealing with paper procedures.

A lot of people said they gave briberies on their own initiative before the state officials claimed for “fees.” When asked why they did this, they said that they simply did the thing that everyone does every day. In many cases, giving money was considered just the thanksgiving behavior.

Especially, some people paid underground money even if it was not really necessary. They said that they would rather spend money than spending time waiting and following complicated procedures.

Most businesses also said they would be ready to pay money, if this is necessary for their works.

However, ironically, briberies do not help improve business result. Enterprises wrongly think that the money they spend to expedite works would be offset by the better business results.

The surveyors have found that if businesses do not give briberies for one year, their business would be improved by 0.13 percent, but if they give briberies, the business result would be better by 0.03 only. In other words, businesses would have better business performance if they say “no” to briberies.

The finding has raised a hope that businesses and people can obtain their goals by other ways than giving briberies. In other words, they can find alternative methods to have better business results, while no need to waste money on briberies.

Press agencies have been playing a very important role in the fight against corruption. More than 80 percent of businesses and state officials said in many cases, newspapers, not competent agencies, discovered embezzlement cases first.

Pham Huyen


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