We live like we pay

The more regulatory government agencies in the country, the more the level of corruption – this is self-evident. Turkmenistan is not an exception. Our colleagues have collected data with regard to the amounts of bribes which Turkmen residents are urged to pay in every day life, including entrepreneurs. Below are average data.

Employees of the Road Inspection Service (formerly, department of Traffic Control and Motor Vehicle Registration) charge 20 manats ($7) if a driver does not hold a power of attorney for vehicle driving, 100 manats ($35) for a motor vehicle inspection depending on the condition of the vehicle and $50 for undergoing a motor vehicle inspection without queuing up and fault-finding.

Staff members of the State Customs Office take bribes from 100 to 300 US dollars for customs clearance of a car, apart from the official fee whereas an unofficial fee of $50 per piece is charged for a customs clearance procedure for a batch of computers.

The system of secondary education. A fee for securing a place for a kid in the "elite" school (for instance, school ?55 in Ashgabat) amounts to $1500, whereas if you have special connections you will pay only $1000. The bribe to be enrolled to the school named after Pushkin with Russian as language of instruction equals up to $17000. On a monthly basis a contribution of 10 manats is paid for school needs. In case parents refuse to pay, student's grades are marked down.

In order to find a job as a caregiver in "elite" kindergartens a bribe of $1500 needs to be paid to executives of the Ashgabat municipal board of education whereas it costs $1000 to be employed as a laundress.

If a person seeks employment as a cell communications operator (for example, in "Altyn Asyr"), a bribe of $1500 is paid to The Ministry of Communications.

Despite the fact that officials from the Ministry of Finance are obliged to process payment transfer documents within three days, they slow down the process until a customer pays a bribe, the amounts of which depends on the payment amount. Settling a payment for goods or service will cost a customer 10% of the total value.

Heads of lending divisions in Ashgabat banks extort their own share from loans - 5 to 7% from the amount of the loan.

Licenses for business operations. In order to obtain a license from the Ministry of Culture three thousand dollars need to be paid whereas the Ministry of Construction charges about $10000 for a license.

Thelastexample. A cashier in the tax office of the Niyazov etrap in Ashgabat uses her own method of extorting money from customers. She simply says: "You need to pay 8 manats more" without any explanations and receipts. Judging by the fact that a woman wears lots of gold jewelry, customers do not refuse to pay.

Data on the amount of bribes in the system of healthcare will be provided in one of upcoming publications.

For your information, minimum wage in Turkmenistan is 440 manats ($154).

Source: TIHR