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August 30, 2013

Officers Demand Payment in Dollars and Onions

Filed under: India — Tags: , , , — neosurya @ 04:20

Given the uncertain future of our currency, officers are now suggesting that payments for services rendered be made in dollars or in kind. One source familiar with the traffic police quoted: “With the rapid slide in the Rupee, amounts collected in the morning dropped in value by afternoon. We cannot demand one rate in the morning and another in the evening. We are open to payment in kind – e.g.  two kilos of tomatoes for a red light, and about 4 kilos of onions for a fender-bender.”. The official insisted that payments against a challan still had to be made using Rupees, though he sees fewer people carrying the currency these days.

dollar_onion

Departments that handed larger payments ruled out the possibility of payment by kind and insisted that the new mode is payment by dollars. A revenue official we spoke to insisted: “If we accept in kind payments, a small truck would be needed at minimum to lug around the proceeds. That would not be very discrete. A significant percentage of our customers are NRIs anyhow, or have some expatriate links. By accepting payments in their home currency, we are also customer-friendly. We do accept in kind payment for smaller matters like the EC.” A sliver of officials were seen with bags of onions, spinach, and tomatoes, but it was not sure if this was payment made by citizen, or purchase from the local store. One official beamed: “Collecting in kind means that a trip to the local market could be skipped. Wife is happy since we are home a bit early. This also makes it difficult for the anti corruption folks to lay traps.”.

One of our correspondent met with the ACB to investigate if the department was aware of the new payment modes. We found that the department was not only aware of the challenge, but had already come up with solutions. An official quoted: “In order to trap corrupt officials, we have worked with leading research labs to bring out tainted vegetables, dal, pulses, and grain. See, these are not the original product, but they look very much original. The modus-operandi is that the citizen shall pay the concerned official with the tainted dal, grain or pulses. We shall nab him because only the Govt can supply fake Dal that cannot be consumed.” We are planning to suggest that the FCI use these to implement the food bill on the ground. Now, this is one great collaboration between departments.

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The above article is a satire, and must not be taken seriously. Corruption is a serious problem, and one of the contributing factors to the mess we are in.

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