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15 senior income tax officials sacked over corruption

NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday sacked 15 senior tax officials facing probes in corruption cases, sending across a tough message to bureaucrats taking kickbacks for facilitating tax evasion by companies, a government statement said.

Last week, the government had dismissed 12 income tax officials who were mainly facing corruption charges.

India improved its ranking, among 180 countries, by three points to 78th on a global corruption index in 2018, according to the annual index of the Transparency International, an anti-graft watchdog.

A 2017 report by Transparency International had said that India has the highest bribery rate in the Asia Pacific region where nearly seven in 10 people who had accessed public services had paid a bribe.

The report titled ‘People and Corruption: Asia Pacific – Global Corruption Barometer’ is one of the most extensive survey of its kind involving 21,861 people in sixteen countries, regions and territories across the Asia Pacific region between July 2015 and January 2017 about their perceptions and experiences of corruption.

The survey found that bribery affects a huge number of citizens. It is estimated that over 900 million people across the sixteen surveyed countries had paid a bribe in the past year when trying to access basic services like education or healthcare.

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