Friday, June 11, 2010

A custom of corruption

Just a few weeks ago the new sports minister shot his mouth off saying the three most corrupt institutions were the police, prisons and Sri Lanka Cricket Board. I was quite surprised that he had left out Customs and RMV. The past few days I have heard little nuggets of information how much people in these institutions make.

An average customs officer would make one million to one and a half million rupees a month. There are known situations of senior customs officers making as much as 50 million rupees a month. That’s 500,000 Dollars. Also a senior guy at the RMV makes an average of a Million rupees a day.

Now that the duties of most luxury goods have been brought down this kind of rampant bribery will not be necessary. And actually more money will be flowing into the state coffers. But do you think people who are used to that kind of income will be able to go back to living off a usual government servant’s wage of 20 – 30k? I doubt it. And I would not be surprised if moves are already NOT under way to sabotage this new duty structure. Only time will tell. Let’s wait and see.

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