Rampant Corruption in Trucking Operations

India’s economic progress has been remarkable during the last one decade. Transport plays a very important role because roads carry three-fourths of the freight traffic. The share of road transport in GDP is presently 4.66 percent.

TI India’s study indicates that truckers are required to pay bribes at every stage of their operations, which starts with getting registration and fitness certificates, and for issuance and renewal of interstate and national permits. The reasons for paying bribes, while on the road, include plying overloaded trucks, traffic violations, parking at no-parking places or entering in ‘no-entry zone’, and in the payment of toll and other taxes like octroi, sales tax etc. Lack of proper documents or use of alcohol by truck drivers are the other reasons for paying bribe. Due to the largely unorganized nature of the trucking operations (86% consist of small entrepreneurs), assessment of the extent of corruption is a difficult one.

Major Findings

A truck operator pays between Rs 211 and Rs 266 per day as bribe at toll plazas, checkpoints, state borders or during en route stoppages on the pretext of checking documents. Based on this estimate, Rs 79,920 are paid annually by a single truck. With around 36 lakh trucks currently operational, total bribe amount works out to more than Rs 22,200 crore a year - almost equal to the truck drivers’ remuneration.
This practice is highly institutionalized because the truck drivers get some kind of ‘receipt’ in the form of stickers, tokens etc. to ensure their hassles free movement.

The total share of RTO and Police, the two key enforcement agencies, works out to be around 88% (43% and 45%, respectively) of the total bribe involved.

About 60% of en-route (forced) stoppages, taking up to 11 hours in a day, by concerned authorities like RTO, Police, forest, sales and excise, octroi, weighing and measuring department are for extorting money.

The number of trips performed by a truck could increase by 40%, if forced delays are avoided. Such delays are estimated to cost the national economy to the extent of Rs 1130.47 crore per year.

Harassment at the hands of Police and RTO staff results in rash and negligent driving to make up the time lost. Indifferent attitude of the transport department is the main reason for approaching middlemen or touts.

Major Suggestions


This report by Marketing & Development Research Associates (MDRA) for Transparency International India (TII) and sponsored by Shriram Group is based on a field study to assess the extent and nature of corruption in the trucking operations. In all, 1222 truck drivers and operators were interviewed at12 trucking centers out of 16 major trucking hubs in the country, besides officials, experts, and senior executives of leading truck companies and truck operators’ association.

Read the Executive Summary of the Report on Corruption in Trucking Operations in India.

For any press enquiries please contact

Admiral (Retd) R H Tahiliani
T: +91 11 2646 0826
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Support Transparency International

La Justicia española debe investigar el lavado de imagen de Azerbaiyán en Europa

Tres políticos españoles —Pedro Agramunt, Agustín Conde Bajén y Jordi Xuclá— se encuentran entre los delegados ante la Asamblea Parlamentaria del Consejo de Europa (APCE) sobre los que pesan sospechas de haberse beneficiado con la maniobra del “Laundromat”.

Clean up Spain – Justice for Azerbaijan’s reputation laundering in Europe

In Azerbaijan, critical voices are routinely suppressed. Meanwhile in Europe, politicians suspected of helping whitewash Azerbaijan’s record on human rights enjoy impunity. Join our campaign to urge authorities in Spain to investigate.

Everything you need to know about the 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference (#18IACC)

The #18IACC will take place from 22-24 October in Copenhagen, Denmark under the theme Together for Development, Peace and Security: Now is the Time to Act. Get the latest info and updates here!

Risky business: Europe’s golden visa programmes

Are EU Member States accepting too much risk in their investor migration schemes?

Future Against Corruption Award 2018

TI is calling on young people across the globe to join the anti-corruption movement. People between the age of 18 and 35 are invited to submit a short video clip presenting their idea on new ways to fight corruption. Three finalists will be invited to Berlin during the International Anti-Corruption Day festivities to be awarded with the Future Against Corruption Award. Apply today!

The Azerbaijani Laundromat one year on: has justice been served?

In September last year, a massive leak of bank records from 2012 to 2014 showed that the ruling elite of Azerbaijan ran a $3 billion slush fund and an international money laundering scheme. One year on, has enough been done to hold those involved to account?

Right to information: knowledge is power

The right to information is vital for preventing corruption. When citizens can access key facts and data from governments, it is more difficult to hide abuses of power and other illegal activities - governments can be held accountable.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media