I was speaking to a friend who got into building a hotel. This was his first construction-linked project. When he started, he had estimated the cost project to take about 2.5 years and cost Rs X. It took him 4 years and cost him 2X. At every stage, he had to pay off people. Every permission, every slab cast had a price. Sometimes, the permission givers were not upfront in their demands, and these caused delays. My friend found only one honest person in the entire system through this period.
Even now, he has to keep cash (black money) readily available because many of these ‘inspectors’ come for routine visits and demand money. Pay up or else…! Even the garbage that needs to be picked up (for which we all pay our taxes) has been added to the list of payoffs.
My friend told me corruption is a common occurrence in every business that deals with the government. He said I was lucky that I was in a software-driven business.
As I said earlier, this is not the India that we set out to create in 1947. The problem is that the rot starts at the top.